Although the products being marketed by CVS Health contain CBD, the ingredient isn’t coming from marijuana. Although 10 states have legalized recreational marijuana and 33 states have legalized medical marijuana, all forms of marijuana remain illegal at the federal level in the United States.
Shares of Curaleaf soared as much as 18% in intraday trading on Thursday. Could this under-the-radar marijuana stock be the big winner from CVS Health’s surprising move?
Limited products, limited states
The company generated more than $77 million in revenue in 2018, more than tripling its prior-year sales. Most of this growth came from the medical cannabis market in Florida, where more than half of Curaleaf’s retail stores are located.
For investors who are looking to buy Curaleaf shares as a way to profit from the boom in U.S. cannabis markets, a word of caution: Key shareholders hold 81% of the company’s outstanding shares. If significant volumes of these shares flood the market, Curaleaf’s share price would probably sink. The good news is that the major shareholders who own these shares have committed to voluntary lock-up periods, agreeing not to sell any of their shares without the company’s approval prior to Oct. 20.
It's too early to know if CBD products will fly off the shelves. But this U.S. marijuana stock is flying high after announcing its deal with the pharmacy chain.
One of the biggest pharmacy retailers in the world has jumped aboard the cannabis train. CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) announced on Wednesday that it has begun selling products that contain cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
“We’ve been having dialogue with national retailers for many months now,” Curaleaf Chief Executive Officer Joseph Lusardi said on the call Wednesday. “We’ve got a number of potentially exciting partnerships in the pipeline.”
CVS Health Corp. this week will begin selling products infused with the trendy, non-intoxicating hemp component at more than 800 of its stores as part of a partnership with marijuana company Curaleaf Holdings Inc., Curaleaf said Wednesday.
CVS has almost 10,000 pharmacies worldwide. Curaleaf, which operates more than 40 marijuana dispensaries across 12 states and recently pushed into Nevada and California through acquisitions, has developed a slate of hemp-derived products including lotions, tinctures, vape pens, and patches.
CBD, or cannabidiol, which doesn’t get you high, has become a trendy wellness ingredient, gaining popularity as regulations are eased across the United States. The farm bill passed in December legalized the cannabis compound, opening up a potentially massive market for products made with it.
Curaleaf announced the agreement during an earnings conference call on Wednesday. The company’s CBD products will be available in about 800 stores to start, Curaleaf said on the call, and hopes to expand to more.