Marijuana News Today: Massive Shake-Up at Canopy Growth Causes Waves in Pot Stock Market

Marijuana News Today
iStock.com/Darren415

Marijuana News Today

In the marijuana news today we’re still dealing with the aftershock of massive news from Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC) yesterday, namely that co-CEO, board member, and co-founder Bruce Linton is stepping down from the board and executive office.

The announcement sent CGC stock on a roller coaster ride yesterday, but ended up being positive  for Canopy Growth stock prices—at least in the short term.

We’ll tackle Canopy Growth more in depth  below, but first, let’s get to the political side of things.

Both Canada and Michigan are—even at this late period in the legal marijuana sector’s nascent phase—still figuring out how to create accessible and comprehensive marijuana laws.

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In Canada, the country is finally taking steps to help offset some of the weaker points of its recreational marijuana rollout, like there being too few legal marijuana stores operating right now in some of its largest markets.

Ontario, which is Canada’s largest and richest province, is set to get 50 more government-approved cannabis stores in October, a full year after the drug was legalized nationwide. In the meantime, the first 25 stores that were already approved in the province are still not fully operational.

But as they say, better late than never. Applicants will have to first show that they have their finances and retail space ready to go before they are approved, meaning that we potentially won’t see 50 new stores open in October. (Source: “Ontario to issue 50 new cannabis store licences, eight to go to First Nations,” CP24, July 3, 2019.)

A lottery will be held for 42 of the next 50 retail locations in Ontario.

This is important, as it will most certainly help juice sales in Canada and hopefully help curb the black market. This will, in turn, lead to stronger quarterly reports for marijuana companies and to more price growth for marijuana stocks.

Michigan, meanwhile, is hoping to similarly get its legal cannabis industry up and running as it issues a number of emergency rules ahead of marijuana legalization. Those rules will detail how home delivery and public smoking lounges would work.

Furthermore, while legal pot sales in the state are still months away, the rules outline several of the license processes and allow local governments to vote on just how accessible they want to make marijuana. (Source: “Michigan issues emergency recreational marijuana rules,” Michigan Live, July 3, 2019.)

In both Michigan and Ontario, it is concerning that establishing every minor detail regarding the marijuana trade is still a bit of a fight. At the same time, the product’s expansion across two high-population areas is likely to help boost sales, which will lead to higher growth among marijuana stocks.

All in all, these are positive signs, even if I wished they would come a little faster and with less deliberation.

CGC Stock

While the information above is important for the pot industry’s future, nothing has been more impactful in the marijuana news today than the ejection of Bruce Linton as co-CEO and board member of Canopy Growth.

Linton was there from the company’s beginning, turning a defunct chocolate factory in a small Ontario town into a powerhouse, multi-billion-dollar, international marijuana company.

It seems that Linton’s departure was not  voluntary.

“I think stepping down might not be the right phrase,” said Linton in reference to language used in Canopy Growth’s press release that said he had “stepped down” as a board member and co-CEO. (Source: “‘My turn is over’: Canopy Growth’s high-profile co-CEO Bruce Linton ousted in surprise exit,” Financial Post, July 3, 2019.)

“Creating Canopy Growth began with an abandoned chocolate factory and a vision,” said Linton in the company’s press release. “The Board decided today, and I agreed, my turn is over.”  (Source: “Canopy Growth Announces Leadership Transition,” Canopy Growth Corp, July 3, 2019.)

It’s looking more and more like the ousting was orchestrated by Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ), the alcohol giant that purchased a 38% stake in Canopy Growth. Ironically enough, one of Linton’s signature achievements as the public face of Canopy Growth—inking a deal with Constellation—likely resulted in his termination.

The Canopy Growth stock price first was shocked by the news, but quickly recovered and has now seen several points of gains. In early-morning trading today, CGC stock was up 2.5%, while over the past five days, the stock rose by three percent.

Linton was a powerful figurehead who helped propel Canopy Growth onto the national stage. The next co-CEO will have big shoes to fill, but could also provide a balance for a company that was prone to over-promising  under Linton’s leadership at times.

Regardless, I’m still a fan of Canopy Growth stock. Depending on who comes in as the new co-CEO (Mark Zekulin will assume the role of sole CEO until a new partner can be found), this could very well end up in CGC stock’s favor. Linton was a great executive to start, but under new leadership, we could see a radically redefined company in the coming months.

IIPR Stock

Although the major marijuana news today is the shake-up at Canopy Growth, I’d be remiss to not continue to sing my own praises as the stocks I have recently featured continue to show strong gains for investors.

Innovative Industrial Properties Inc (NYSE:IIPR) has been having another splendid day on the marijuana stock market, with gains nearing seven percent in early-morning trading. Over the past five days, IIPR stock is up five percent.

The marijuana real estate investment trust (REIT) has been the target of much of my praise as of late, and rightfully so.  After writing about Innovative Industrial Properties stock early this week, the stock has seen several days straight of very good gains.

There is still a chance that a pullback may occur with IIPR stock, but overall, this is a very strong company that is showing promise for the months (and potentially years) to come.

It’s worth remembering that this stock gained over 200% in the past year, and with days like today, it’s easy to imagine that number continuing to grow.

It’s also worth remembering that, as a marijuana REIT, Innovative Industrial Properties stock pays a healthy dividend to investors.

OGI Stock

OrganiGram Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:OGI), was up again today in early-morning trading, having gained over three percent. OrganiGram stock is also up five percent over the past five days.

OGI stock is in a very different place than both IIPR stock and CGC stock, in that it’s quite a bit smaller, a marijuana penny stock.

Trading for under $7.00, it’s a far cry from Innovative Industrial Properties stock ($129.00) and Canopy Growth stock ($41.00). As such, OrganiGram stock is a good deal more nimble and is able to see gains in short order, perhaps more so than almost any other major marijuana stock.

At the same time, it’s prone to falls that can be more extreme, relative to the larger pot stocks.

But at the end of the day, the fundamentals are there and make OGI stock a winner in my eyes. Ups and downs may be in store for the stock, but I imagine that OrganiGram stock investors will be very happy with their choice in a few years, when the stock may have netted them months of gains.

CGC, IIPR, and OGI Stock Performances

The performances of CGC stock (black line), IIPR stock (blue line) and OGI stock (red line) over the past week are seen on the chart below:

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Analyst Take

The marijuana news today is certainly interesting.

With a major change at Canopy Growth, the leader in the marijuana industry is about to set off on a whole new direction. Where the company ends up is anyone’s guess, but my belief is that CGC stock will remain very strong for years to come.

On the political side of things, we have marijuana laws still being fleshed out in a number of U.S. states, while Canada is finally trying to fill the accessibility gap by allowing more storefronts to open in the richest markets in the country. That will likely end up benefiting marijuana stocks as legal sales increase with the new shops.