Marijuana News Today: Pot Stocks Bludgeoned, New Mexico House Votes for Legalized Weed

Marijuana News Today
iStock.com/Olena Bondarenko

Marijuana News Today

The marijuana news today is very much a mixed bag: the pot stock market saw many shares tumble while New Mexico’s state House approved a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

First we’ll cover the political. New Mexico was able to push a marijuana legalization bill through its House, with the next hurdle being the state Senate.

While it is uncertain whether the legislation will pass the Senate, the sponsors of the bill in the state House believe they have the numbers to push the bill through. (Source: “New Mexico House votes to legalize marijuana,The Hill, March 8, 2019.)

In the House, the bill was opposed by every Republican and even a few moderate Democrats. The Senate is controlled by Democrats, however, so there is a good chance that New Mexico will become the 11th state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

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That would be a big boost for the marijuana industry. Every state that legalizes marijuana brings us one step closer to forcing the federal government’s hand in legalizing—or at the very least, decriminalizing—pot.

Considering that every major Democratic Party presidential hopeful has stated support for a marijuana reform bill, the U.S. federal government may come around to marijuana sooner rather than later.

Several other states are expected to join New Mexico in legalizing marijuana this year, including New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

Of course, none of these states are guaranteed to legalize recreational pot. However, there’s still a very good chance that several states put marijuana laws on the books in 2019.

What’s also interesting is that, if the marijuana legalization bill passes, New Mexico will become the second U.S. state to use the legislature, rather than a referendum, to initiate the legalization of marijuana.

Eschewing a direct public vote and instead taking the fight through the state Congress is another sign of just how far marijuana has come. No longer seen as a politically dangerous subject, marijuana legislation is now being used by politicians to help develop their progressive credentials.

Federal legalization is still uncertain and is a ways away, not to mention it will likely not have a direct impact on marijuana stocks in the near future. But the swell of support for marijuana among U.S. states and citizens is becoming hard to ignore, and will only accelerate the country toward legalization.

When legalization does come to pass at the federal level, marijuana stocks will have another green rush that will see share prices explode.

HEXO Stock

In contrast to the political developments in the marijuana news today, we have many marijuana stocks taking hits in early-morning trading.

One of the few outliers is HEXO Corp (NYSEAMERICAN:HEXO). HEXO stock remained even in early-morning trading today, while over the past five days it has tumbled by eight percent.

Overall, the week was poor for many marijuana stocks, including HEXO. But there is reason to be excited about HEXO Corp in the short term; the company’s next quarterly report is set to drop on March 14.

Considering how positive so many quarterly reports have been in recent months, I can’t imagine HEXO’s will disappoint. Which means that for traders looking for a quick turnaround or for those looking to reinvest in the market long-term, now would be a good time to consider HEXO stock with the quarterly report on the way.

Of course, it’s no guarantee that the financial report will be positive. That said, all earnings reports in the recent past have bolstered their respective stocks, and I don’t envision HEXO Corp coming up short in that regard.

As such, I’d be mindful of HEXO in the coming week.

CRON Stock

One pot stock that felt the burn this morning is Cronos Group Inc (NASDAQ:CRON).

Cronos stock took a near-four-percent dive to kick off trading today, while the stock has managed to break even over the past five days. Considering how many pot stocks faltered in that time, CRON stock should be considered a winner.

The company also closed its deal with Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO), makers of “Marlboro” cigarettes.

The CA$2.4-billion deal will see Altria take 45% ownership of Cronos, with the opportunity to bump that up to 50% over the coming years. (Source: “Altria Takes Control of Cronos Group with C$2.4 Billion Investment,” New Cannabis Ventures, March 8, 2019.)

Mike Gorenstein, Cronos president, chair, and CEO, made the following statement:

Altria’s investment and the services they will provide to Cronos Group will enhance our financial resources, and allow us to expand our product development and commercialization capabilities, and regulatory expertise to better position Cronos Group to compete, scale and lead the rapidly growing global cannabis industry. We look forward to the many opportunities we expect this relationship to create.

(Source: Ibid.)

The move is the first between marijuana and “Big Tobacco.”

As is typically the case, the massive injection of capital into Cronos Group Inc sent the stock soaring, with huge gains early in 2019.

Cronos stock has been among the best performers as of late, convincing me to fully support the stock following the investment win.

While this week was less than ideal, I’m still very much in support of CRON stock.

TLRY Stock

The final company we’ll be looking at today was rocked by a note from Jefferies Financial Group Inc (NYSE:JEF), a New York City investment bank. The bank rated Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) as an underperforming stock moving forward.

The note helped send TLRY stock sinking today, with the company falling almost four percent in early-morning trading. Tilray stock is down a whopping 15% over the past five days.

“We appreciate it is well placed in medical but future value here will be driven by IP for which (there is) little visibility near term,” said Jefferies Group analyst Owen Bennett. “Its share structure also raises risk of increased volatility.” (Source: “Cannabis stocks fall as analyst takes bearish stance on Tilray,MarketWatch, March 8, 2019.)

While I’m bullish on the marijuana industry in general and tend to discount charges of overvaluation, the arguments that Jefferies Group presented are sound.

Tilray stock has long been driven by hype (being the first marijuana initial public offering on the Nasdaq being the chief reason for that hype), but the stock has sunk a long way since its peak and continues to fall.

While I had anticipated a more dramatic plummet from its ridiculous early explosion, followed by steady gains, it seems that the losses have come slower, but are still very much present.

TLRY stock has leaked value since its peak in 2018, and it has yet to find a suitable strategy to register consistent gains. As a result, I am back to being bearish on Tilray stock.

HEXO, CRON, and TLRY Stock Performances

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

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Analyst Take

The marijuana news today, as is sometimes the case, is a mixed bag.

On the political front, the cannabis industry inched closer to another state-level victory in the United States. On the pot stock market, however, we have been seeing stocks across the board close out a poor week with another drop.