2 Serious Challenges For This Top Marijuana Stock

Though this pot stock has been unstoppable for years, things may not stay that way for much longer.

Big things are happening in the cannabis industry — especially with our neighbor to the north. In 34 days, on Oct. 17, recreational marijuana can be legally sold in licensed dispensaries in Canada. And with its legalization, the industry will be angling for somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 billion in annual sales.

But there’s more going on with the weed industry than just Canada lifting the curtain on adult-use marijuana in Canada. There are big things happening in the United States, too. Among the numerous marijuana firsts this year was the approval of the very first cannabis-derived drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 25…

The very first cannabis-derived drug gets the green light

U.K.-based GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) made history when the FDA gave the green light to its cannabidiol (CBD)-based oral solution known as Epidiolex for two rare forms of childhood-onset epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. CBD is the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant best known for its perceived medical benefits. Though synthetic forms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), known as dronabinol, had been approved by the FDA before — THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets a person “high” — no genuine cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant had ever been used in clinical trials that led to an approval by the FDA.

During clinical testing, Epidiolex ran circles around the placebo. In one pivotal-stage study involving Dravet syndrome patients, GW Pharmaceuticals’ lead drug demonstrated a 39% reduction in seizure frequency relative to baseline, which proved to be three times better than the 13% reduction in seizure frequency that was recorded by the placebo.

A separate late-stage study in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome that was published in TheNew England Journal of Medicine in May 2018 found…

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