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Pot stocks start the week strongly: Here’s what you need to know

It has been a great start to the week for the Australian share market. In morning trade the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is up a solid 0.7%.

Some of the biggest gains on the market today can be found in the medicinal cannabis industry. Here’s the current state of play in the fledgling industry:

The Auscann Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: AC8) share price has continued to climb higher, this time by 6% to 72 cents. Its shares have now rallied almost 25% since last week’s announcement that it has secured a licence to cultivate medicinal cannabis in Australia.

The Cann Group Ltd (ASX: CAN) share price has jumped 13% to 75 cents. Cann’s shares listed on the ASX last week at 30 cents. This means investors lucky enough to get in on the IPO have seen the value of their investment rise 150%. Cann was the first company in Australia to be granted a licence to cultivate medicinal cannabis.

The Creso Pharma Ltd (ASX: CPH) share price is up 9.5% to 64 cents. Creso Pharma became the first company to import medicinal cannabis products into Australia last week. Its subsidiary Health House will distribute its CanniMed products throughout the country.

The Hydroponics Company Ltd (ASX: THC) share price is flat at 36.5 cents. The Hydroponics Company was another pot stock to hit the ASX boards last week. It aims to be a leading manufacturer and distributer of cannabis products and equipment.

The MMJ Phytotech Ltd (ASX: MMJ) share price is up slightly to 41.5 cents. Today’s gain will be a welcome relief to shareholders. In the last 30 days MMJ Phytotech’s shares have been on a downward slide and fallen almost 35%.

The MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: MXC) share price is up 5% to 6.3 cents. Last week the company announced a collaboration with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. The two will work together on a full suite of medicinal cannabis research initiatives, initially centred on genetics and cultivation.

The Stemcell United Ltd (ASX: SCU) share price is up 7.5% to 14.5 cents today despite there being no news out of the company in the last couple of weeks. Its shares are amongst the most volatile in the industry with wild swings becoming an almost daily occurrence.

The Zelda Therapeutics Ltd (ASX: ZLD) share price is up 5% to 10 cents. Last month the company announced plans to expand its clinical trials in Chile to cover autism. If things go to plan Zelda could be generating revenues by next year.

Finally, although I think there are one or two companies amongst this growing list which could go on to bigger and brighter things, at this stage it is difficult to predict which will rise to the top. So for this reason I think investors may be better off just watching on from the sidelines for the time being.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.