Marijuana News Today: Medical Cannabis Continues to Make Strides in U.S.

Marijuana News Today: Medical Cannabis Continues to Make Strides in U.S.
iStock.com/Jose S

Marijuana News Today

We have a strong showing by the pot stock market in the marijuana news today, as well as another breakthrough for medical cannabis.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) now allows cannabidiol (CBD) medicines that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be taken aboard flights. (Source: “TSA approves cannabis-containing epilepsy drug for flights,” The Hill, May 27, 2019.)

This is a bigger deal than it seems at first blush.

The TSA is now permitting drugs like “Epidiolex,” the epilepsy medicine that contains CBD, to be carried aboard flights. The reason this is such a major victory for cannabis in the United States is that the TSA is a federal agency.

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Much like when Epidiolex was first approved by the FDA, the TSA’s approval signals a growing acceptance by federal agencies for cannabis products, something that could very well lead to a federal vote on legalizing marijuana as the legal incongruities in the country continue to grow.

For instance, several major federal administrations now approve of cannabis products despite there being a federal prohibition that technically lists all of those products as akin to heroin and meth.

I’ve long criticized the silly disparity that exists within the U.S. legal system when it comes to cannabis, but we have been seeing progress on the issue come in hard and fast, with organizations like the TSA helping lead the way with their policy changes.

The fact is, the U.S cannot exist in this dual stance wherein marijuana is legal in so many forms across the country but highly illegal according to the federal government.

And, like in many other parts of the world, denying people alternative medical treatments that marijuana could provide is a hard case to make. So hard, in fact, that a federal medical marijuana legalization bill is plausible under either political party. It’s one of the few bipartisan issues in today’s highly polarized political environment.

While I don’t believe that the TSA’s decision is going to directly pave the way toward that outcome, it will help nudge the U.S. in the right direction.

And as I’ve said before, the closer we get to marijuana legalization, the closer we get to pot stocks seeing a rush that they frankly have never experienced before.

While future markets are priced in to marijuana stocks at the moment, nothing is the same as the real deal. Shares would skyrocket if the U.S. legalizes marijuana in any form, and I anticipate that this future is not far off.

America can only carry on with its legal dissonance for so long before politicians eventually step up and push for a federal vote on the substance.

APHA Stock

It has been a great day so far all around in the marijuana news today, with the pot stock market mirroring the political gains with several stocks up to start the morning.

One such stock is Aphria Inc (NYSE:APHA). Aphria stock grew by nearly two percent in early-morning trading today and is up about 10% over the past five days.

We’ve been covering Aphria stock’s rise for the past few days: it saw two double-digit days but it has been slowing today.

Still, up two percent is nothing to complain about.

Aphria recently received a huge shot in the arm from Jefferies Financial Group Inc (NYSE:JEF) analyst Owen Bennett. The analyst assigned APHA stock a 115% higher target compared to its current price.

“On our strategic scorecard Aphria scores highly, and third overall behind only Canopy and Aurora,” said Bennett. (Source: “Jefferies starts coverage of Aphria (APHA) with a Buy rating,” Stock News, May 24, 2019.)

“Despite its strong global outlook, its valuation is the cheapest across our space, with allegations around inflated assets/insider deals weighing.”

Aphria is trying desperately to turn things around after what has been a dismal year for the company, and the support from Jefferies is going a long way toward that aim.

While I’m not fully on board with APHA stock yet, this has been a heartening week, and a few more like it could effectively rescue it from the dumps.

CGC Stock

Another company that has been busy in the past few days is Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC).

While the company is known for headline-stealing deals—and none of the recent developments are at that level—Canopy Growth’s recent moves continue to shore up what is already a very strong marijuana stock.

CGC stock gained about three percent in early-morning trading today and is up nearly five percent over the past five days.

Last week, Canopy Growth Corp acquired a skincare and well-being company, This Works, in a deal valued at CA$73.8 million. This Works has a foothold in over 35 countries, and this deal once again speaks to Canopy Growth’s globally-focused expansions. (Source: “Canopy Growth Acquires Established Skincare And Well-Being Company This Works,” Canopy Growth Corp, May 22, 2019.)

The acquisition is looking to take advantage of the burgeoning CBD market, as well as CBD’s applications in the health and beauty sectors.

“We believe CBD has the potential to disrupt the cosmetic and sleep solution industries and have been working for years to build and establish the right entry point into this opportunity,” said Bruce Linton, chairperson and CEO of Canopy Growth. (Source: Ibid.)

Canopy Growth also recently teamed up with a number of marijuana awareness campaigns to help inform consumers via a number of online tools. That’s a goodwill move that, on its face, will help consumers understand the risks and proper use of marijuana. Moreover, it helps cultivate a positive image for the company.

While not earth-shaking, these are solid wins for the company. CGC stock remains one of the best options for investors looking to benefit from marijuana investing long-term.

APHA and CGC Stock Performances

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

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Analyst Take

The marijuana news today is almost entirely positive.

On the political side of things, you have another U.S. federal administration coming out with tacit support of cannabis by making living with—and using—the substance easier, at least in one very specific case.

It all begins with one step, however, and the TSA took that step today.

Meanwhile, in the marijuana stock market, share prices are up across the board as several pot stocks saw solid gains to start the day. While it’s nothing significant enough to blow your mind, a day of gains across the board is worth celebrating.