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Healthcare Stocks Mixed; GrowBLOX Rallies After Forming Subsidiary Ahead of Puerto Rico Decision on Medical Marijuana

Top Healthcare Stocks

JNJ +0.17%

PFE -0.41%

ABT +0.08%

MRK -0.33%

AMGN +0.89%

Healthcare stocks were narrowly mixed in mid-day trade, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index declining about 0.1% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 gaining about 0.1% as a group.

In company news, medical marijuana-grower GrowBLOX Sciences climbed briskly Tuesday after saying it has formed a subsidiary in Puerto Rico to take advantage of proposed legislation in the U.S. commonwealth legalizing medical marijuana and decriminalizing cultivation and possession.

GBLX, until recently known as Signature Exploration and Production Corp, said the island's climate and location position Puerto Rico as a "premier" distribution and exporting outlet for medical-grade products. The company also said it plans to work with local municipalities to devise cultivation, harvesting and distribution methods complying with the new legislation.

Overall, 22 states and the District of Columbia allow for some use of medical marijuana while Colorado and Washington now allow recreational use of the drug.

Separately, GBLX late Monday raised $5 million through a private placement of its common stock, issuing about 7.7 million shares, which would indicate a price of about 65 cents per share. Proceeds are to be used to support company growth as well as for general corporate purposes.

GBLX shares were up more than 15% at $2.64 apiece in recent trade, earlier climbing to a session high of $2.85 a share. The stock has a 52-week range of 10 cents to $8.90 a share, more than tripling in value over the last year, rising 227% during the past 12 months through Monday's close at $2.29 a share.

In other sector news,

(+) BIOC, (+23.1%) Aegis Capital begins coverage with a Buy recommendation and a $16 price target. The company yesterday expanded its OncoCEE-BR test platform to include estrogen receptors.

(-) THRX, (-18.7%) Late Monday, completes separation of its late-stage partnered respiratory assets from its Teravance Biopharma ( TBPH ) operations, creating two publicly traded companies. TBPH is steady at $19.51 a share.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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