These are the top 3 cannabis companies to watch in the Australian marijuana market

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Experts agree that any marijuana stock worth the investment should have a global growth strategy to bring cannabis to other parts of the world. Australia is a critical player in the international cannabis market, certainly with the medical marijuana already legalized down under.

The Australian continent’s location forms a hub for exports to Asian markets as well, giving the cannabis industry a worldwide distribution port. These are the top three cannabis companies to watch in the Australian marijuana market.

Canopy Growth Corporation

Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX:WEED) (NYSE:CGC) entered the Australian market last year when they announced an exclusive supply agreement with AusCann Group Holdings. With plans to legalize recreational cannabis still treading water in Australia’s Parliament, Canopy only supplies medical cannabis to the nation at this time.

A strictly medical strategy works, especially with Canopy’s medical subsidiary Spectrum Cannabis snatching up deals across the globe. Canopy is making significant moves with Spectrum in Latin America as well as Australia, and the company announced Spectrum Cannabis Australia this spring will the full support of the Victoria state government.

“Collaborating with international experts on cultivation and manufacturing will build Victoria's capacity to develop our medicinal cannabis industry to be able to supply reliable and high-quality medicinal cannabis products,” said Victoria’s Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford in April.

Canopy will also build a facility in Victoria that will make it possible to cultivate and produce high-quality cannabis locally. According to a statement, the facility will act as a distribution hub, which Canopy hopes will give them an export advantage across the continent while other marijuana stocks are still in the process of building their Australian consumer bases.

GW Pharmaceuticals Down, plc

GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) continues to follow their groundbreaking success with Epidolex, the FDA-approved CBD drug for childhood epilepsy, this time with a marketing strategy for new cannabis-based medicines in Australia.

Their latest is Sativex, a drug that is still awaiting Phase 3 results in the United States. Sativex was developed for elasticity symptoms in Multiple Sclerosis. It contains both THC and CBD in a one-to-one ratio that its makers hope will work to relieve the muscle tightness and pain that is common with the disease. Sativex is one of the first cannabis-based medicines to be administered as an oral spray.  

According to the company, Sativex is only marketed to patients with MS who have not found relief through traditional treatments or medications.

Since GW does not market its own cannabis-based medicines, the company looks for marketing companies that specialize in pharmaceuticals. In April, GW signed a licensing agreement with Novartis to market Sativex in three different continents, including Australia. In Australia, Emerge Health is the pharmaceutical brand acting as the sponsor for the drug. They continue to work with health professionals in Australia and New Zealand to bring Sativex to the people.

Aurora Cannabis Inc.

Last week, Aurora Cannabis (TSX:ACB) (OTCQB:ACBFF) updated their shareholders with the latest news regarding their global strategy. The statement covered the company’s moves all over the world, most notably in Australia.

In Australia, Cann Group partnered with Aurora and their subsidiary Aurora Larssen Projects to design and construct a GMP-compliant facility. Over twelve acres near the Melbourne Airport have already been approved for the site, and cannabis genetics are on their way to Australia from Aurora’s Mountain facility in Canada.

However, Aurora Cannabis clarified back in April that they did not reach an agreement regarding a takeover transaction with Cann Group Ltd. Cann Group is Australia’s first licensed cannabis producer, and Aurora owns nearly one-third of the company. And although the two companies met and discussed a potential transaction earlier this year, according to a statement “no offer has been submitted.”

That does not mean Aurora’s strategy is stagnant. It is quite the opposite. While investors wait on a possible Australian acquisition, Aurora is exploring other options. On Friday, the company announced that Australis, their spin-off company, received a receipt for its final prospectus. Once approved, shares in the new company will be distributed to Aurora’s shareholders, and Australis will be listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange.  

Australis will be Aurora’s tool for investing in the budding American cannabis market. “Australis provides its shareholders with access to deal-flow in the U.S market, where many successful operators have struggled to access growth capital in an opportunity-rich market,” Aurora CEO Terry Booth said in a statement last week. “With a deeply networked and experienced management team, and a strong balance sheet, Australis is well positioned to capitalize in the U.S. by acquiring attractively priced cannabis assets with high growth potential.”

As one of the biggest pot stocks in the industry right now, Aurora is keeping all of their options open as they continue to expand into the global cannabis market.

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