Marijuana News Today: CRON Stock Soars, Sports Could Open Door for Pot Use

Marijuana News Today: CRON Stock Soars, Sports Could Open Door for Pot Use
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Marijuana News Today

In the marijuana news today, Cronos Group Inc (NASDAQ:CRON) is up big following an upgrade from a major bank, and professional sports are beginning to take a serious look at cannabis.

On the sports side of things, you have two major North American sport organizations, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL), looking into marijuana and its potential applications for athletes.

The NFL is the more gung-ho of the two when it comes to marijuana, recently announcing that it is studying the drug as a possible pain management tool for its players. (Source: “NFL and players’ union to study potential use of marijuana for pain management,” The Washington Post, May 20, 2019.)

Considering all the negative press the NFL has received over the years due to its perceived disregard of its players and their health, if marijuana were to step in and serve as an effective pain medication, that would help solve a lot of problems for the league.

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The NBA, meanwhile, is a little more reluctant to come out one way or another on cannabis, only saying that it is going to see how the drug affects players and consider the reason that players partake in the first place. (Source: “NBA commissioner on basketball players using marijuana: ‘It’s a complicated issue’,” The GrowthOp, June 5, 2019.)

It’s worth noting that the NBA doesn’t have nearly the same stigma surrounding player injuries that the NFL does. Concussions in football has been a powder-keg topic for years now. The NFL hasn’t been able to come up with a satisfying solution in the eyes of many fans and players. That makes its pursuit of marijuana as possible remedy more pressing.

What this means for marijuana companies, however, is that their product is gaining wide-ranging acceptance.

These are athletes that need to maintain peak physical condition, after all. So if pot is fine for them, it stands to reason that it would be fine for the layperson. If major sports leagues are beginning to relax their position on pot, it will help support the push for federal legalization in the United States.

Furthermore, if cannabis can be slotted in as a pain reliever, that would be a massive boon to the medical marijuana industry.

Consider that the opioid epidemic continues to be a major problem facing the U.S. (and much of the world). If an alternative painkiller could replace that highly addictive drug family, many would be elated.

Marijuana has the potential to do just that. While studies would have to be carried out, the early results are that marijuana is very effective as a pain reliever, while also being low risk for addiction. That combination could make it a wonder drug when it comes to supplanting the dangerous and deadly opioids.

Not to mention that it would be great press for pot were it to help eradicate the opioid epidemic while providing a safe way to fight pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other ailments.

If that happens, marijuana sales would naturally rise as the drug became the go-to pain reliever. If professional sports organizations help lead that charge, that would greatly improve the prospects of cannabis being seen as a remedy for pain.

CRON Stock

The other major story in the marijuana news today has to do with Cronos Group Inc and its stock’s huge jump in early-morning trading. CRON stock climbed seven percent to start the day.

That number is made all the more impressive when you look across the marijuana industry and see most pot stocks having fallen one or two percent.

Cronos stock’s huge jump today helped correct a poor showing last week, putting the stock at a one-percent gain over the past five days.

The boost came by way of Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BOA), which gave the company a two-notch upgrade following Cronos Chief Executive Officer Mike Gorenstein claiming on June 4 that his company would be “aggressive” regarding a U.S. cannabidiol (CBD) launch.

Speaking at a luncheon hosted by the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY), Gorenstein added that he’s not talking “that long of a way out” regarding the company’s entry into the U.S. market.  (Source: “Cronos Rises On Analyst Upgrade Following ‘Aggressive’ CBD Expansion, Bloomberg, June 5, 2019.)

These comments resulted in analyst Christopher Carey boosting his rating on the stock from “underperform” to “buy.” Carey said that Cronos had a solid avenue for entry into the U.S. market through its partnership with Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO), which said was the “key to winning the U.S.”

The analyst explained that Cronos could leverage Altria’s U.S. presence (its products are in 230,000 stores) to launch its own products. “The potential to scale distribution nationally via Altria separates Cronos vs peers,” wrote Carey.

Due to U.S. CBD being virtually legal at this point, it makes sense that analysts would be giddy over the company’s entry into the market.

After all, Canada is still a relatively small market and marijuana legalization is at least a few years off for the U.S.; the industry needs something to help keep the buzz going.

CBD in the U.S. could be a huge aid in that regard, and we’re seeing that play out with CRON stock’s huge leap.

TLRY Stock

In contrast to Cronos stock, the majority of marijuana stocks have taken a dip in early-morning trading today. One such company is Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY). Tilray stock fell almost two percent in early-morning trading today. The stock is down by more than 11% over the past five days.

At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tilray’s continuing downward trend persists until the stock closes below $30.00.

I don’t see TLRY stock making a speedy recovery anytime soon, especially considering that the cannabis sector is facing its first real challenge in 2019. May proved to be a tough month for many pot stocks.

Tilray Inc has a long way to go before it regains my confidence.

CRON and TLRY Stock Performances

The performances of CRON stock (black line) and TLRY stock (blue line) over the past week are seen on the chart below:

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Analyst Take

The marijuana news today was stellar for the future prospects of pot as a pain reliever. Professional sports could be a huge spearhead in that fight, perhaps helping to push the drug as a new pain medication of choice.

This would mean a huge increase in medical marijuana sales, and that in turn would be a dramatic boost for pot stocks.

Cronos Group Inc, meanwhile, is looking to target the U.S. CBD market, and as such is reaping the rewards following an analyst upgrade.