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Probably the biggest question for Epidiolex is how successful it will be commercially. Investors should be aware that some are skeptical about the drug's potential in the marketplace. On the other hand, others are pretty bullish. Market research firm EvaluatePharma, for example, projects that Epidiolex could be one of the top 10 new drugs launched this year with the potential for annual sales close to $1 billion.

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The case for GW Pharmaceuticals

I'm very optimistic about GW Pharmaceuticals' chances of winning approval for Epidiolex. And I'm fairly optimistic about the drug's commercial potential. As a result, my view is that GW Pharmaceuticals stock still has room to move higher. The problem is that FDA approval and commercial success are largely baked into the stock price already.

Both GW Pharmaceuticals and Cara Therapeutics have significant potential catalysts on the way. Which of these two biotech stocks is the better choice for investors right now?

The case for Cara Therapeutics

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should announce its approval decision for Epidiolex no later than June 27, 2018. No FDA approval is a slam dunk, but the odds appear to be pretty good for GW's drug. The company's results from multiple phase 3 studies were positive enough that an FDA advisory committee voted overwhelmingly to recommend that Epidiolex win approval.

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Delisted

A family-run coffee business that has been operating since 1971, providing a plethora of coffee products across the U.S. and Canada, Coffee Holdings joined the cannabis industry this year. In October, the company signed binding agreements to attain a 49% ownership of The Jordre Well, LLC, a cannabidiol beverage company, run by founders of Cannuka, a popular CBD skin brand. Under the deal, The Jordre Well will help Coffee Holding in the creation and commercialization of CBD-infused line extensions for the current coffee brands in the company’s portfolio.

Corbus Pharmaceuticals is a Phase 3 clinical-stage pharmaceutical company concentrated on the development of new drugs to help with inflammatory and fibrotic illnesses by targeting the endocannabinoid system. Its principal drug candidate is called Lenabasum, and it is an oral, cannabinoid receptor type 2 agonist formed to help with chronic inflammation and fibrotic processes. The drug is also being tested for its potential in treating cystic fibrosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and some other illnesses. Furthermore, the company is working on creating a pipeline of drug candidates that address the endocannabinoid system.

cbdMD Inc (NYSE:YCBD)

Prior to that, Aphria’s stock had been listed on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. and on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Listing on the NYSE was a major step for Aphria, opening the company to a larger pool of investors.

Amyris is a science and technology company that creates and manufactures sustainable ingredients for various markets, such as Clean Health & Beauty, and Flavors & Fragrances. Its connection to the cannabis industry is through the research and production of biosynthetic cannabinoids, including CBG.

Canopy Growth is the largest marijuana company in the world by market capitalization. It’s also one of the largest in terms of funded production capacity, with a figure of over 500,000 kg. The company is moving fast in expanding its licensed grow space. It started the year with around 800,000 square feet, but recently it has said it reached a licensed platform of 4.3 million feet. Overall, Canopy has a production platform of 5.6 million feet, of which now 75 percent is licensed.

Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:CRBP)

* Versión en Español: Empresas de Cannabis Con Acciones en las Bolsas NYSE y NASDAQ.

The company said its most valuable current partnership covering the hemp/cannabis industry is with KeyGene, an AgBiotech company with a specialty in crop enhancement by molecular breeding.