DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Marijuana stocks have been some of the market’s top performers this past year as investor optimism has soared. However, that impressive run might not carry over into 2015, at least not for all companies.
That’s because 2015 could be the year marijuana investors become more selective, picking and choosing the best-in-breed plays and ignoring those with the most question marks. With that in mind, let’s consider what might lie ahead in the new year for two of this year’s biggest marijuana winners: GW Pharmaceuticals and Insys Therapeutics.
A bit of background
In 1996, California became the first state to approve the use of medical marijuana. An additional 22 states have since legalized marijuana for use in patient treatment, including Maryland, Minnesota, and New York in 2014.
Rising awareness of marijuana’s potential as a therapy for pain caused by diseases such as cancer or glaucoma has sparked a wave of ballot measures legalizing marijuana possession for medical purposes. That awareness is also sparking renewed interest in legalizing marijuana for recreational use. So far, four states have passed laws allowing for possession of a small amount of recreational marijuana: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. Washington, D.C. has done the same.