Marijuana News Today: Is New Jersey the Next State to Legalize Recreational Pot?

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Marijuana News Today

In what is a familiar story, yet another U.S. state is looking to legalize recreational marijuana. The marijuana news today is that an important preliminary vote will be taking place in New Jersey concerning the future of weed in the state.

The New Jersey Senate and Assembly are holding a joint session to approve (or disapprove) a collection of bills relating to marijuana. One bill would see criminal records expunged for people who were convicted of activities that would be considered legal under new marijuana laws. (Source: “NJ marijuana legalization: First legal weed vote expected today, follow here live,” Ashbury Park Press, November 26, 2018.)

For our purposes, we’re focused on the bill that would totally legalize recreational marijuana consumption. In fact, New Jersey is proposing that it go even further, with legal delivery of pot—something that’s allowed in only a handful of U.S. states that have legalized weed.

It’s worth noting that if the bills receive approval today, they will still need to be voted on by both chambers of the state Congress before they become law. Still, the approval today would be a necessary first step toward marijuana legalization in New Jersey.

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This is an important bit of news for marijuana investors for two main reasons.

First, the more states that legalize pot, the harder it is for the federal government to ignore the need for it to radically alter its position on marijuana. Cannabis reform in the U.S. is long overdue. Everyone knows this, but there is skittishness when it comes to enacting laws on the federal level.

Much like what was seen with the fight for gay marriage, more and more states will legalize recreational marijuana until it simply becomes untenable for the federal government to hold out, leading to legalized marijuana across the country.

The second important issue is the marijuana legalization process itself in New Jersey. It was initiated by elected lawmakers rather than the voting public.

The vast majority of states in the U.S. that have legalized pot initially proposed legalization via referendum rather than votes in their legislatures. This speaks to the fear that lawmakers have when it comes to marijuana reform, preferring to let the voters decide on what can be a contentious issue.

With more states stepping up to the legalization plate and using bills initiated by Congress rather than the voters, it proves that marijuana acceptance is growing. And the closer we get to U.S. marijuana legalization, the closer we get to a massive run in the marijuana stock market, the likes of which we have never seen before.

CGC Stock

While there is excitement in the marijuana news today, the stock market has been muted. We were seeing flat performances across the board, with marijuana stocks neither gaining nor losing much in early-morning trading today.

Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC) has been no exception, with a flat performance to start the day. Meanwhile, CGC stock has seen a five-percent decline over the past five days.

This is to be expected, considering that we just had a holiday long weekend. And frankly, a flat performance across the board is a welcome reprieve from the drops that the cannabis stock market has experienced lately.

It has been more than a month since Canada legalized marijuana and, much like I had predicted, CGC stock has had a bumpy ride during that time.

While I anticipated that the marijuana stock market would face a downturn a little later in the year, it was accelerated due to the massive gains made in August.

With the hype gone and the first quarterly earnings reports post-legalization coming in below the lofty expectations of analysts, I anticipated a pullback in the marijuana industry.

But, as I’ve said before, this is little more than a hiccup, and Canopy Growth is still among the best marijuana stocks—with a very strong outlook.

CRON Stock

Cronos Group Inc (NASDAQ:CRON) has been showing little stock movement today, jumping one percent in early-morning trading.

Over the past five days, however, CRON stock has impressed with a 3.5% gain. Admittedly, this isn’t a crazy amount of growth. But considered in the context of a marijuana stock market correction, this is an admirable performance.

CRON stock has benefited from its place on the Nasdaq, outperforming many other marijuana stocks due to its access to a very unsaturated exchange that only features one other pure-play marijuana stock.

I predict that Cronos will continue to perform well in the coming weeks, despite the overall market downturn.

CGC and CRON Stock Performances

The CGC stock (black line) and CRON stock (blue line) performances from the past week are seen on the chart below:

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Analyst Take

The marijuana news today from New Jersey brings us ever closer to the all-important possibility of marijuana legalization across the United States.

While we still have a ways to go before we’ll see federal legislative movement on pot, each day brings us closer to the threshold—and therefore closer to the gains that the legal cannabis industry has been salivating over ever since it came into being.