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Buds & Duds: Cannabis stocks inch up; TruTrace soars as Aphria joins phase 2 of pilot program

Aphria Inc has joined phase 2 of the Shoppers Drug Mart and Trutrace Technologies medical cannabis verification pilot program

Cannabis leaf
Also on the move were Lexaria Bioscience, Tilray, Cronos, Green Growth Brands and MariMed

Cannabis stocks had an upbeat start to Thursday, with shares broadly up across US and Canadian markets. 

The North American Marijuana Index, which tracks the top cannabis stocks in the US and Canada, was up 0.2% at 184.5 points. Elsewhere, the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF gained 1.9% at C$14.65, while the OTCQX Cannabis Index slipped 0.3% at 676.5 points.

Buds

TruTrace Technologies Inc (CSE:TTT) (OTCMKTS:TTTSF) shares were on the rise Thursday after news that Aphria Inc (TSE:APHA) (NYSE:APHA) has joined phase 2 of the Shoppers Drug Mart and Trutrace Technologies medical cannabis verification pilot program. 

Shares of TruTrace jumped 13.3% at C$0.26 in Toronto, amd were up 7.3% at US$0.19 in New York. Aphria shares were also on the rise, up 0.3% at US$6.76 in New York. 

The pilot program uses Trutrace's StrainSecure technology as a central hub for identity management, asset tracking, validation, and product authentication. 

"We are thrilled to partner with Shoppers Drug Mart and TruTrace Technologies to increase transparency within the medical cannabis industry," Aphria Chairman Irwin Simon said in a statement. "At Aphria Inc, we take responsibility to heart and recognize the importance of standardized testing and quality assurance. This program reflects our ongoing commitment to protecting the health and safety of our patients."

READ: TruTrace: Aphria joins Phase 2 of Shoppers Drug Mart medical cannabis verification program

Also gaining ground Thursday was Lexaria Bioscience Corp (CSE:LXX) (OTCMKTS:LXRP), up 3.5% at C$0.88 in Canadian trading. 

Lexaria revealed today that it is featured in a publication from financial news and publishing company NetworkNewsWire which highlights its drug delivery system.

The group noted that the piece, entitled “Innovative Drug-Delivery Systems Benefit Patients and Businesses,” said that the company’s DehydraTECH system could be “the most novel form of drug delivery in decades,” and is making “momentous advances” in the delivery of nicotine.

The Kelowna, BC-based company's DehydraTECH technology changes the way that active pharmaceutical ingredients enter the bloodstream to promote healthier methods of ingestion and increase overall effectiveness. 

Last week it was awarded a patent in Australia. The new patent covers ready-to-drink beverage compositions, a complement to its already-awarded patent for orally ingestible configurations.

READ: Lexaria Bioscience picks up new patent for DehydraTECH drug delivery technology

Shares of Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) were recovering Thursday, jumping 47% at US$31.40. 

Earlier this week, Cowen & Co analyst Vivien Azer slashed her 12-month price target on the stock to C$60 from C$150. Azer also cut her price target on Cronos Group Inc (NASDAQ:CRON) to C$17 from C$21. Cronos shares were also on the rise, up 2.3% at US$11.33 in New York. 

The reason? "Too few stores, supply shortages and a lack of novel products have hampered category development," noted Azer, however, making a point that she does believe the Canadian market will recover in the next year as issued are resolved and new products like edibles hit the market. 

Tilray recently opened its first international hub for exports in Portgual. 

Duds

Stocks lagging Thursday included Green Growth Brands Inc (CSE:GGB) (OTCMKTS:GGBXF), down 4% at US$1.31 in US trading. 

The firm announced it had raised completed its private placement Thursday, issuing 1.12 million units at a price of C$2.45 per unit, raising C$50.2 million. 

Other laggards Thursday included MariMed Inc (OTCMKTS:MRMD), which dropped 5.6% to US$1.18 on a lack of news. 

Contact Katie Lewis at [email protected]

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