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Pot Stocks To Ponder

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October was a month to remember for the cannabis industry, thanks to Canada legalizing marijuana for recreational use on October 17. Uruguay is the only other country in the world to have completely legalized this crop, also known as cannabis.

In the United States, 10 states have legalized recreational marijuana, 32 states and Washington DC have legalized marijuana for medical use, and 13 states have decriminalized, but not legalized, marijuana.

Marijuana has a very old history, dating back around 12,000 years. This plant is known by various names like Cannabis, Pot, Weed, Grass, 420, Dope, Herb, Shunk and Ashes, to name a few. Native to central and southern Asia, marijuana is widely used for recreation, and is often linked to risk of addiction when used over a long period of time.

The use of marijuana in medical settings has been a source of much debate. The primary ingredient in marijuana is THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive compound that induces the 'high' and hallucinogenic effect in the user. One other compound worthy of mention in marijuana is Cannabidiol, or CBD. But unlike THC, CBD does not cause a high.

Both THC and CBD are said to have potential medical benefits like pain relief, easing of PTSD-related symptoms, reduce nausea, stimulate appetite and calm asthma attacks to name a few. Over the last few decades, there has been a growing interest in medical marijuana.

The first cannabis-based medication, Epidiolex, which was approved by the FDA in June of this year, to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy, was launched in the U.S. on November 1.

The legal marijuana market in the United States is estimated to reach $11 billion in consumer spending in 2018 and more than $23 billion by 2022, according to a report by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics.

Mexico is another country, which is well on the way to legalizing marijuana. Late last month, the country's highest Court ruled that the ban on recreational marijuana use is unconstitutional. Marijuana for recreational use was banned in Mexico in the early 20th century.

A legislation seeking to legalize the possession, public use, growth and sale of marijuana has been proposed by the party of Mexico's president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The new government is expected to assume charge next month. If all goes well as planned, recreational marijuana may become legal in Mexico in 2019. The country legalized medical marijuana in 2017.

The latest European country to have legalized medical marijuana is Lithuania, a member of the European Union, when it passed a law on October 11, 2018, in favor of medical cannabis legalization. The law is slated to come into effect in May 2019.
However, recreational use of marijuana remains illegal in this country.

Of late, cannabis-related news and stocks have been garnering a lot of investor attention. Let's take a look at some of them.

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