Other publicly traded consulting companies with outperformance include Medbox (MDBX), which gained 51.8%, and United Cannabis Corp. (CNAB) with gains of 712.5%. As more states roll out and mimic what Colorado and Washington have modeled in their application process, cannabis consultants will find ways to stay relevant by adding expertise in the areas of software, security and cash management, Greiper said. They will become management consulting consultants.
Overall, the category of marijuana penny stocks was up 105% but the entire gain was in the first quarter of 2014 when recreational use was first legalized in Colorado. The cannabis biotech penny stock sector returned 339% in 2014 compared to 665% for the consulting sector. Pharmaceutical-like products in a pill that are infused with THC or CBD, tested and geared towards specific maladies is one of the holy grails of the marijuana biotech sector, said Greiper.
The biggest hot-button issue in pot biotech is when these pharmaceutical-like pot products will emerge, and what standards and guidelines we might see the FDA require. The top performing marijuana biotech stock last year was Abattis Bioceuticals (ATTBF) with gains of 850%. Abattis is a majority owner in Phytalytics, which got a provisional license to act as a marijuana laboratory in Washington to improve controls around testing of strains for specific diseases and medical conditions, said Swartz.
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