Tilray shares pop after US clears pot importing for medical study


A worker trims cannabis at the growing facility of the Tikun Olam company on March 7, 2011 near the northern city of Safed, Israel.

Uriel Sinai | Getty Images

A worker trims cannabis at the growing facility of the Tikun Olam company on March 7, 2011 near the northern city of Safed, Israel.

Shares of Canadian cannabis producer Tilray surged after it announced approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration to import marijuana to the United States for medical research.

The company’s U.S.-listed shares jumped more than 12 percent in premarket trading Tuesday

Tilray will work with the University of California San Diego Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research to study the safety, tolerability and efficacy of marijuana for a neurological disorder.

“Tilray is proud to support this crucial research,” says Dr. Catherine Jacobson, Director of Clinical Research at Tilray. “If this study can identify cannabinoids as a potential treatment for patients suffering from essential tremor, we can conduct further research and potentially provide alternative effective methods of relief for the high numbers of patients with Essential Tremor.”

Wall Street heralded the go-ahead as a sign that the DEA is standing by their goal to improve resources and cannabis research.

“Today’s news is a positive for both Tilray and the broader cannabis stock universe, as additional medical applications and improved government support add another domino to future legalization in the U.S.,” wrote Cowen analyst Vivien Azer.

“Further, the new clinical trial supports Tilray’s medical cannabis prospects (both in U.S. and globally) as it competes with Canopy Growth (39 U.S. patents and 15 clinical trials) in an intellectual property-arms race,” the analyst added.