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ASX cannabis shares have started the year on a high

It has been a disappointing start to the year for the local share market and declines are being seen across the board in afternoon trade.

But one area of the market which has avoided the sell off and started the year on a high is the cannabis sector.

A number of cannabis-focused companies have pushed significantly higher on Wednesday. Here’s the current state of play:

The Auscann Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: AC8) share price is almost 8% higher at 62 cents despite there being no news out of it. Just before Christmas AusCann announced that executive director Dr Paul MacLeman will act as interim CEO from January 1 until a full-time appointment is made by the board.

The Creso Pharma Ltd (ASX: CPH) share price has stormed 15% higher to 56.5 cents after Israel’s Parliament approved a law for exporting medicinal cannabis and a new regulatory structure to approve foreign ownership of Israeli medicinal cannabis operations. Management believes Creso is well positioned to take advantage of these changes via its 74% stake in a joint venture with Israeli-based Cohen Propagation Nurseries.

The MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: MXC) share price has climbed 5% to 4.2 cents. MGC Pharmaceuticals is another company that could benefit from the law changes in Israel. The founders of the European-based specialist medical cannabis company are all prominent figures in the Israeli medical cannabis industry.

The MMJ Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: MMJ) share price has pushed 6% higher to 25 cents. MMJ also has exposure to the Israel market through its 100% stake in an Israeli cannabis R&D company Phytotech Therapeutics.

The Zelda Therapeutics Ltd (ASX: ZLD) share price has stormed 13.5% higher to 5.9 cents despite there being no news out of it. Despite this gain, its shares are down around 60% since this time last year.

One company that has missed out on today’s gains is Cann Group Ltd (ASX: CAN). The Cann share price is down 2% in afternoon trade despite the positive investor sentiment in the industry and news that an insider was buying shares last week.

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Returns as of 6th October 2020

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the 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 Scott Phillips.

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