Marijuana News Today: Florida Marijuana Legalization, Pot Stocks Bounce Back (Mostly)

Marijuana News Today
iStock.com/Rex_Wholster

Marijuana News Today

The marijuana news today features an update on why this coming election cycle is so important for the future of cannabis legalization in the United States. Meanwhile, the pot stock market has been bouncing back near-universally today.

First, let’s turn our attention to one of the most important upcoming elections in the U.S.: the Florida gubernatorial race.

Florida is very important on the national scale for a number of reasons, not least of which is that it’s a swing state with a very high population.

But for our interests, the Florida gubernatorial race could dramatically impact the future of marijuana legalization in the U.S.

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Right now, Republican candidate Ron DeSantis and Democrat candidate Andrew Gillum are in a tight race that could swing either way, with marijuana legalization in Florida hanging in the balance.

Both candidates are pro-marijuana, to a degree. Where they differ is in their level of dedication to seeing marijuana legalized on a recreational level (the substance is already permitted in Florida for medicinal purposes).

“Legalize it. Tax it,” tweeted Gillum in January. “Use the revenue to fix Florida’s public schools and move us up from 29th in the nation to #1.” (Source: “Another Big Election Year For Marijuana As Candidates Recognize Voters Want Legal Weed,” Forbes, October 28, 2018.)

DeSantis, for his part, also expressed tentative support for full legalization of marijuana, so long as the voters did the heavy lifting.

“I am going to implement the will of the voters,” DeSantis told a TV reporter in July. “They passed medical marijuana overwhelmingly, and my view is we have a process in Florida when that happens, then we shouldn’t play games with it. We should just simply implement it.”

So while Gillum could be expected to fast-track marijuana legislation, expect DeSantis to take a more measured and slower approach.

The good news is that both major parties have fielded candidates that ultimately support marijuana legalization, even if DeSantis couldn’t say so outright.

The future of the federal legalization of marijuana in the U.S. is very much tied to the swell of marijuana legalization in individual states. If Florida joins the ranks, that would mark another high-population state that has legal cannabis. Florida and California combined would account for over 50 million Americans having access to legal recreational pot.

As I’ve long predicted, eventually the push for legalization on the state level will pass a certain threshold and the federal government will no longer be able to stick to its current model. That would usher in marijuana legalization across the country.

It is inevitable, but the sooner the better for marijuana stock bulls, which makes each election so important.

Tilray Stock

The marijuana stock market has generally been on the upswing today. One marijuana stock, however—Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY)—has still been falling, despite many other pot stocks seeing a bit of a bump.

Tilray stock fell about two percent to start the day, putting it behind many of its compatriots, which were on the upswing this morning.

Nevertheless, most stocks are down big over the past five days, with TLRY stock being among the hardest hit—with a 26% decline. It’s concerning that, even in this morning’s period of slight relief from the marijuana stock market correction, Tilray couldn’t mount a modest turnaround.

I have long said that Tilray stock was a short-term pick, best played by those looking to make day trades or hold for just a few weeks and then cash out. The market correction entering the equation makes Tilray stock that much more volatile.

Considering how fast TLRY stock shot up, and how little it has in the way of substance to justify its price compared to, say, Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC), I see the correction being particularly nasty to Tilray.

When the market turns around, though, Tilray stock will likely benefit better than most in the immediate aftermath. But for those investors looking for a buy-and-hold strategy, look elsewhere.

Aphria Stock

One marijuana stock that saw its fortunes turn around this morning is Aphria Inc (OTCMKTS:APHQF, TSE:APH). Aphria stock jumped about three percent in early-morning trading today.

This hardly offsets the 17% decline it experienced over the past five days, but it’s a start.

Aphria stock has been one of the most disappointing pot stocks this year. Earlier, I had high hopes for APHQF stock, but it has underperformed for most of 2018.

On the flip side, since this stock fell harder than most in the previous correction, it may now be less susceptible to deep losses in the current pullback.

With that in mind, I still see a lot of long-term potential for Aphria stock, with its current lower price potentially being a big selling point.

TLRY and APHQF Stock Performances

The TLRY stock (black line) and APHQF stock (blue line) performances from the past week are seen in the chart below:

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Analyst Take

The U.S. midterm elections are upon us, and with them comes great potential for change. That change could greatly affect the future of the marijuana industry in the country.

Watch closely to see which party takes the House and Senate. Even state gubernatorial races could have a big impact on the future of cannabis stocks.

Meanwhile, in the marijuana news today, the marijuana stock market bounced back and we saw strong gains across the board. However, not all pot stocks were fortunate enough to benefit from the rebound.