Marijuana News Today
A recurring trend we’ve seen rears its ugly head again in the marijuana news today as the Ohio marijuana legalization process faces delays.
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy was supposed to announce on Wednesday which applicants would be approved to operate medical marijuana dispensaries, but that announcement has been delayed until June. (Source: “Ohio Delays Awarding Licenses To Medical Marijuana Dispensaries,” WOSU, May 24, 2018.)
The excuse provided by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy is that they had an insufficient amount of information to move ahead with the approval process.
One of the major hangups comes as a result of the board’s mandate that proposed dispensaries have to be at least 500 feet from schools and churches.
The board can award licenses for up to 57 sites across the state out of the 376 applicants. The pursuit of these licenses is naturally a very important step for companies looking to get into the Ohio medical marijuana market.
The delay has pushed the licensing announcement to June 4.
This delay is yet another roadblock in what has already been a long journey toward legalization.
Ohio had two years of preparation before its proposed September 8 launch date. But, as is usually the case with marijuana legalization, legal fights and detractors have delayed the process.
The marijuana news today is hardly unique; we’ve seen this story play out before across the country.
With politicians and voters often deeply divided over the issue of marijuana legalization, these types of delays are to be expected.
Of course, the majority of U.S. citizens now believe that marijuana should be legalized, according to recent poll numbers. But that has done little to expedite the U.S. marijuana legalization process.
While state by state the battle for legalization still rages on, the U.S. has never been closer to legal pot.
Several very prominent senators—many of whom are said to be potential presidential candidates in 2020—have pushed for the Marijuana Justice Act to be adopted. The proposed bill would remove the drug from Schedule I classification on a federal level.
And that makes sense on a purely logical basis. After all, having cannabis alongside other drugs like heroin in the eyes of the federal law is more than a little overkill.
But, as always, legal delays are not what marijuana companies want to see.
While pot stocks won’t be affected today by Ohio’s delay, every obstruction that the industry faces on the way to legalization only pushes it that much further away, delaying the inevitable and postponing the big payday that pot stocks are looking forward to.
While the political marijuana news today was less than ideal, the marijuana stock market is looking bright.
Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com
And today was a monumental today for marijuana stocks as Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC) became just the second pure-play pot stock to list on a major international exchange. The Canopy New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) listing is big not just for the company, but the industry as a whole.
This whole month has been building toward the Canopy NYSE listing, with Canopy Growth stock jumping by nine percent over the past five days, which follows a month of strong gains.
But today marks the company’s first official day on the NYSE listing.
This makes CGC stock that much more attractive to U.S. investors. Moreover, it also helps to legitimize pot stocks in the eyes of investors.
After all, institutional investors have been infamously reluctant to put money into the burgeoning marijuana sector due to the perception that it was not totally above board.
But with more and more companies joining major listings like the NYSE, that misconception is being eroded.
My Canopy Growth stock forecast is that the company is in store for a bit of volatility, but I foresee big things this summer for CGC stock.
Aurora Cannabis Stock
Another big winner over the past five days has been Aurora Cannabis Inc (OTCMKTS:ACBFF, TSE:ACB).
One of my personal favorite marijuana companies, Aurora Cannabis stock is up 14% over the past five days as it nears the completion of its MedReleaf Corp (OTCMKTS:MEDFF, TSE:LEAF).
Aurora Cannabis stock has been the beneficiary of an aggressive acquisition strategy, buying up companies left and right. This culminated in the MedReleaf acquisition, which is valued at $3.2 billion.
While the deal isn’t perfect, it does serve to position Aurora Cannabis as the biggest player in the sector by market cap.
It also helps develop the company’s production capacity ahead of Canadian marijuana legalization.
Another positive note in the marijuana stock market was Aphria Inc‘s (OTCMKTS:APHQF, TSE:APH) rebound.
The company has enjoyed one of the better performances in May following what has otherwise been a dismal 2018.
But yesterday, the company saw some of that progress falter with its first poor performance this month.
Today, the company is down about four percent. But over the past five days, it has jumped by two percent.
Many marijuana stocks are down today, but over the week, things have been bright near across the board.
Between a strong marijuana stock market and a growing push for marijuana legalization in the U.S., you have a pretty strong one-two punch.
Delays like the one experienced in Ohio are unfortunate but to be expected.
The U.S. has some deeply embedded fears of marijuana and it will take more than a single bill to overcome them. Still, these types of setbacks only push the prospect of U.S. marijuana legalization further away, which is something that no pot stock bull wants to see.
On the flip side, senators are coming out in droves to support the Marijuana Justice Act and the push for marijuana legalization in the U.S. has never been stronger.
Speaking of which, the marijuana stock market has rebounded nicely in May, by far the best overall month for the industry in 2018 so far.
The summer is also shaping up to be a strong time for marijuana, making it a good time to be a pot stock investor.
And finally, we saw the Canopy Growth NYSE listing hit markets today, another sign that the industry has come a long way from its early start those few short years ago.