Did the cannabis stocks bottom Wednesday? I saw the kind of give-up-and-bounce action over the afternoon that indicates they may have at last found a floor.
This group has been beaten up beyond recognition. Yet, I still have no doubt about the validity of cannabis as a health remedy, even as I think, these days, it is too ballyhooed as a cure-all.
Justin Gover, the CEO of GW Pharma, a real drug company that has a breakthrough cannabis drug for epilepsy, Epidiolex, explained that sales are much stronger than expected and receptiveness just continues to grow in this country. Earlier this week, a form of the drug had just been approved in Europe, and I expect the same great success in Europe that we have seen in the U.S. I thought it seemed like a great buying opportunity.
I still do.
Then later Wednesday I received a research report issued by Favus Institutional Research, dated Sept. 20, that claims to show a spike in deaths that are related to Epidiolex use, among several other negatives. I think the critical piece, presented some data that may have given a not-all-that-accurate depiction of the statistics, or at least showed them in a light that may have been ill-advised. Favus certainly didn't tell the full picture of the success of this breakthrough drug and, instead, reached a conclusion that the drug could be pulled by the FDA, something that is always possible, of course, but to me seems unlikely, especially given the success it has had for so many families after a very arduous period of testing.
Was the report the chief reason why the stock fell? Or was it the group move down? Or both? I know the report certainly was responsible for helping to drive the stock down. It certainly didn't present the full picture.
My experience with GW Pharma execs from the beginning of this saga years ago is that they are honest brokers who were always willing to share with me any data that was out there.
So when I called Elliott Favus, the writer of this piece of negative research, this evening to ask him some questions about the way he framed his report, anxious to learn more, I was surprised to hear that he would not talk to me, going as far as to say that he didn't have to talk to me.
Well, of course, it's a free country. But if he were worried about the drug, as opposed to the stock, I would think I am as good a place as any to flesh things out.
Could this all have been a raid on GW?
I don't know. But I do know I sure don't want to be part of a raid. That's why I wish Favus would have been as willing to talk to me as GW Pharma's always been. It would certainly have helped convince me there's more to the negative report's conclusions than an attempt to bring down the stock of a good company.
Once again, though, I reiterate that this group seems like it is bottoming. It just needs a catalyst to start heading higher. I don't see one yet, but you often don't until it happens.