Although the majority of U.S.-based cannabis companies and many foreign American Depository Receipts (ADRs) trade over the counter (OTC), a few marijuana companies are traded on the NASDAQ. Some investors prefer stocks that are listed on the NASDAQ to other exchanges due to their increased liquidity and tighter spreads compared to the over-the-counter markets. For example, as the cannabis industry has grown in recent months and years, uplisting from an OTC market to a reputable U.S. exchange has become a banner achievement for many rising marijuana companies. (For related reading, see "Understanding Medical Cannabis vs. Recreational Cannabis Stocks")
An increasing number of marijuana companies are being listed on reputable U.S. exchanges rather than being traded on the OTC market reflecting the rapid growth of the cannabis industry.
NASDAQ-listed Marijuana Stocks
The NASDAQ was the first electronic exchange and has long been synonymous with technology and biotechnology. The cannabis companies on the NASDAQ reflect this, and the majority of them operate in the biotech area of the industry. Here are the NASDAQ-listed marijuana stocks, in alphabetical order, as of June 10, 2019, with a breakdown of their total returns.
Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA)
Arena Pharmaceuticals is a biotech company involved in the manufacturing of medical marijuana drugs. Research and development around Arena's APD371 is the primary focus of the firm's cannabis biotech initiatives.
Atlantic Alliance Partnership Corp. (NASDAQ:AAPC)
Atlantic Alliance Partnership Corp. is a blank check company that is currently in a merger agreement with Kalyx Development Inc. Kalyx is a leading real estate investment trust in the regulated cannabis industry in the United States.
- The cannabis industry, particularly the area of marijuana and biotech, is attracting substantial investor attention.
- Cannabis is being used in new drugs for the treatment of pain and many chronic, inflammatory, and fibrotic diseases.
- Companies are also developing cannabinoid products for autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, glioma, Tourette syndrome, epileptic disorders, Prader-Willi Syndrome (a genetic disorder), and amphetamine addiction.
Cara Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:CARA)
Cara Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing new chemical entities for the indications of pain and pruritus (itching). Although all of the firm's clinical-stage products target opioid receptors, Cara is currently conducting preclinical research on cannabinoids for the treatment of neuropathic pain.
Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:CRBP)
Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. is a cannabis biotech company. The group's research, development, and manufacturing are based around cannabis drugs that seek to treat chronic, inflammatory, fibrotic, and other diseases.
Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CRON)
Cronos Group Inc. is a Canadian cannabis company. The group owns and seeks cannabis-related subsidiaries and licensed producers. In December of 2018, Marlboro maker Altria announced plans to invest $1.8 billion in Cronos. The investment has provided Cronos not only with additional cash to finance its continued expansion but also with a well-established partner experienced in the marketing of consumer brands.
GW Pharmaceuticals Plc. (NASDAQ:GWPH)
GW Pharmaceuticals is developing a portfolio of cannabinoid medicines. These medicines include Sativex for the treatment of spasticity related to multiple sclerosis and cancer pain and Epidiolex for the treatment of childhood epilepsy. Sativex is commercialized in more than a dozen countries outside the United States and has received regulatory approval in several other countries. Epidiolex received FDA approval as a treatment for Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, two forms of severe, early onset epilepsy without good existing treatment options. Other indications show that GW Pharmaceuticals is developing cannabinoid products for autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and glioma.
Insys Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:INSY)
Insys Therapeutics is a specialty pharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes innovative drugs and novel drug delivery systems. Although the company is more widely known for its Subsys fentanyl spray, Insys has received FDA approval for a dronabinol (synthetic THC) oral solution for the treatment of nausea caused by chemotherapy and anorexia in patients with AIDS. Insys is also developing cannabinoid-based treatments for epileptic disorders, Prader-Willi Syndrome (a genetic disorder), and amphetamine addiction. On June 10, 2019, Bloomberg reported that Insys had filed for bankruptcy following lawsuits related to its opioid-based drug Subsys.
Intec Pharma Ltd. (NASDAQ:NTEC)
Intec Pharma is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is developing drugs based on its proprietary Accordion Pill technology. Intec's product pipeline includes cannabinoid-based drugs for lower back pain and fibromyalgia.
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBII)
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. develops and distributes environmentally responsible bio-based pest management and plant health products. In 2017, Marrone Bio Innovations announced that three MBII active ingredients are now legal for use on cannabis crops in the California cultivation market.
New Age Beverages Corp. (NASDAQ:NBEV)
New Age Beverages Corp. is a manufacturer of beverages derived from yerba mate, green tea, kombucha, and similar products. In recent months, New Age has expanded its drink offerings to include CBD infusions as well, bringing it into the orbit of cannabis stocks.
Psychemedics Corporation (NASDAQ:PMD)
Psychemedics Corporation operates in the enforcement sector. The company's business operations support drug testing through hair samples.
Therapix Biosciences Ltd. (NASDAQ:TRPX)
Therapix Biosciences Ltd. is a specialty clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development of cannabinoid-based drugs. Therapix's current pipeline includes products targeted for the treatment of Tourette syndrome and mild cognitive impairment.
Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY)
Tilray Inc. was the first marijuana-related company to have an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States. The Nanaimo, Vancouver Island-based company focuses on medical cannabis products.
Village Farms International (NASDAQ:VFF)
Village Farms International is the most recent cannabis stock to begin trading on the NASDAQ. The company's shares became available for trade on February 21, 2019. The company has a decades-long history in greenhouse produce production and has only recently shifted some of its focus toward cannabis production.
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ZYNE)
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals is focused on the development of synthetic cannabinoid treatments for transdermal (through the skin) delivery. Their pipeline currently includes two drugs being developed for indications including epilepsy, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathic pain, and Fragile X syndrome.