Rappers, IPOs and Marijuana: The Blunt Facts
British medical marijuana company Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (LSE: OCT) went public May 21 on the London Stock Exchange. A marijuana entrepreneur by the name of Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. is heavily invested in OCT through his venture capital firm, Casa Verde.
Never heard of Mr. Broadus? Perhaps you’re familiar with his professional name: Snoop Dogg.
Marijuana represents a “stoner” sub-culture among rappers, epitomized by celebrity canna-preneurs such as Snoop Dogg, a pot-smoking rap star who has even forged marijuana ventures with style doyenne Martha Stewart…of all people.
On one song in particular, Snoop Dogg hints that he and the former president of the United States had shared a blunt at the White House: “Still sippin’ gin and juice while I’m smoking marijuana / I bet you never blew with Obama.”
In addition to gangster rapper Snoop Dogg, Imperial Brands (OTC: IMBBY), a multinational tobacco company based in the UK, also made a big investment in Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies.
In its initial public offering (IPO), Oxford raised about $23.4 million and sported an opening market cap of nearly $70 million. OCT develops cannabis-derived pharmaceuticals for pain treatments. These medicines contain no addictive opioids.
We’re witnessing a surge in marijuana IPOs this year, as pot stocks rise in value. We’re also seeing mega-cap food, beverage and tobacco companies jump aboard the marijuana bandwagon with massive investments. Welcome to the second wave of the “green rush.”
Wealthy celebrities are putting their chips on the table, too. In March, actor/comedian Seth Rogen announced the U.S. launch of his cannabis brand Houseplant.
All of this financial and entrepreneurial activity in the marijuana industry has one common theme: the craze for cannabidiol (CBD). Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies’ cannabinoid research program places a heavy emphasis on compounds such as CBD to treat ailments that have been resistant to conventional drugs. One of Oxford’s selling points is that its products are a way to combat the deadly epidemic of opioid addiction.
In a new report released May 26, marijuana research firm New Frontier Data revealed the following trends about CBD:
- More than one-third (39%) of consumers utilizes CBD primarily for pain management.
- Slightly fewer than half of medical consumers (46%) have discussed CBD with a physician.
- 1 in 4 pain management, general wellness, and recreational consumers, respectively, claim to have tried CBD once or twice.
- Nearly 9 out of 10 (88%) among CBD consumers reported that they have friends or family members who use CBD.
- Among CBD consumers, 84% report that CBD was recommended to them by someone they know.
The CBD craze…
Cannabis contains more than 100 biologically active chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids. The most commonly known cannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which produces the “high,” and CBD.
CBD accounts for up to 40% of the cannabis plant’s extract. Unlike its cousin THC, CBD doesn’t give users a buzz. Sales of CBD are fueled by claims that it can reap a bevy of benefits, such as reducing pain, calming anxiety, and enhancing mental focus. CBD sales in the U.S. are soaring, making it the “next big thing” for investors (see the following chart).
New Frontier states: “As CBD products become more mainstream, consumer intrigue and demand are increasing while their preferences and behavior evolve. The expansion of legal access to high-THC cannabis and clarified FDA regulation will further accelerate market demand, continuing to attract major [consumer packaged goods] brands.”
CBD has been studied in laboratories and clinics for relief of pain, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, and loss of appetite. Empirical evidence confirms the genuine health benefits of CBD.
Still relatively new to mainstream consumerism, CBD is becoming a household name. Hence the flurry of IPO and venture capital activity in this space. Bestowing marketing power to CBD is the growing involvement of entertainment industry icons.
Companies involved in CBD are outstanding investment opportunities. But you need to choose wisely, to separate the fly-by-night companies from those with sustainable momentum. To discover cannabis plays with the greatest potential for long-term profit, click here for our free report.