Marijuana News Today
We have a long-awaited arrival in the marijuana news today: Ontario—Canada’s largest and richest province—has finally permitted brick-and-mortar marijuana stores to be open.
This is a huge win for marijuana stocks, one that has been long in the making. While it wasn’t a surprise that these stores would finally open for business in Ontario today, it is still welcome news.
The reason for the delay was the change in provincial government in the summer when the Liberal Party was ousted and replaced by the Progressive Conservatives. As a result, the marijuana legalization model changed from government-run storefronts to privatization.
We’re now seeing the fruit of that change finally ripen, with a handful of stores opening across the province today. This allows marijuana producers to more effectively tap into the rich market that is Ontario.
While the province has had marijuana available online, the storefronts allow for easier, simpler, and more spontaneous purchases. Furthermore, those who would prefer to buy their cannabis in person rather than have it delivered by mail now have that option.
But it’s not all sunshine. The province was aiming to have 25 stores open today, but due to a number of issues, that number won’t be reached. Only 10 stores have been approved to open so far, and they may not even all open their doors today. (Source: “Ontario cannabis stores open Monday, but not all ready to go,” Global News, April 1, 2019.)
Part of the problem is one that has faced the Canadian marijuana market since day one; that is, the bureaucratic machine slowing things down. The approval process for licensing remains long and arduous. You’ll remember that government regulations also led to the country-wide shortage that we’ve seen since Canadian marijuana legalization.
As always, the government is in need of a balanced approach that does not sacrifice safety for efficiency, but at the same time, doesn’t allow for a choking of the market like we’ve experienced.
This is easier said than done as Canada continues to struggle with that problem.
All the same, it will eventually be sorted and marijuana will flow freely in all provinces. In Ontario, it won’t be long until the 25 brick-and-mortar stores are operational.
The upshot for marijuana stocks is that they finally have full access to Canada’s richest province. Considering how good sales figures have been in several marijuana quarterly reports released in 2019, the sales spike generated by the Ontario market expansion will likely see many of those numbers jump by next quarter.
This is going to be a huge boon to marijuana stocks as sales figures have come to dominate headlines in early 2019.
The marijuana news today is pretty momentous on the political side of things, but the same could not be said of the pot stock market. Many marijuana stocks have started the week off quietly, with a few points of gains or losses.
One company that wasn’t quiet, however, was Hexo Corp (NYSEAMERICAN:HEXO). HEXO stock climbed one point in early-morning trading today and finds itself up about seven percent over the past five days.
The company also announced that it had completed its first harvest in its one-million-square-foot expansion. The company is continuously expanding and hopes to ramp up its production capacity to 108,000 kilograms (over 238,000 pounds) per year when all is said and done.
“Completing the first harvest in our 1,000,000 sq. ft. greenhouse expansion showcases the dedication and hard work of the entire HEXO team,” said Hexo CEO Sébastien St-Louis, adding:
We are very proud of our continued ability to execute on our plans, creating value for our shareholders and demonstrating our commitment to our customers. This cultivation milestone means that an expanded HEXO product offering will be available to more Canadians shortly.
(Source: “HEXO completes first harvest in its 1 million sq. ft. greenhouse,” Globe Newswire, April 1, 2019.)
The announcement also included a huge spike in employment numbers for the company. Hexo currently employs about 600 people, but hopes to increase that number by another 500 in the next few months.
Increased employment speaks to a growing company, which is always good news.
On top of that, politicians and voters alike love companies that create jobs. With Hexo’s growth, more provinces may vie to have it open up shop in their provinces, leaving the option open for expansion in the near future.
Overall, HEXO stock looks as strong as ever.
On the flip side of Hexo we have Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY). TLRY stock fell about 2.5% in early-morning trading today. The stock dropped a further six percent over the past five days.
While companies like Hexo continue to perform well, Tilray still has yet to find its footing in 2019.
Worse yet, if you expand that view out and look at Tilray stock’s performance since its initial public offering (IPO), you’ll see a steady decline from its peak, falling slowly but continuously.
The only surprise I have is that it has been taking this long.
I was bearish on Tilray stock when it first hit the market, not wanting to get swept up in the hype. It had—at times—shown flashes of brilliance since its massive entry onto the public stock market, but it has been unable to see sustainable price gains.
While it did appear that TLRY stock had the potential to be a strong performer a few times in the recent past (most notably in its impressive run in late 2018), the stock has proved to be volatile, and ultimately has been trending downward.
At this point, I wouldn’t classify Tilray stock as a true dud. But I would say that the stock is likely to continue to drop until it hits a price that the market is comfortable with—and one that makes sense, given the company’s current size and portfolio.
While I don’t know what that share price is, I believe it is still a good bit lower than its current one. As such, I would hesitate before going all in on TLRY stock.
HEXO and TLRY Stock Performances
The performances of HEXO stock (black line) and TLRY stock (blue line) over the past week are seen on the chart below.
Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com
The marijuana news today was rather bright to start the week.
We’re finally seeing marijuana expansion in Canada reach a huge milestone as Ontario gains access to legal pot storefronts.
On top of that, we have HEXO stock on the rise following an announcement of continued expansion by the company. It remains one of my favorite pot stocks in 2019.
Conversely, Tilray stock continues to struggle and has yet to make big waves in 2019 while so many other pot stocks have seen massive growth.
It was, however, a very strong start to the week overall for marijuana stocks.