Marijuana News Today: Online Marijuana Market Expands, Pot Stocks Rally

Marijuana News Today
iStock.com/Aleksandr_Kravtsov

Marijuana News Today

The marijuana news today sees another step on the path toward greater pot availability in Canada as Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation, a massive Canadian retailer, is now selling cannabis online in the province of Ontario.

This move, which was long in the making, will provide many Canadians with easier access to legal marijuana. It will also potentially bolster sales by presenting a familiar brand name to consumers. (Source: “Shoppers Drug Mart starts selling medical marijuana online,” CBC, January 8, 2019.)

After all, for first-timers, it’s far more comfortable to buy marijuana from their everyday local drugstore than from some new, unfamiliar marijuana-centered company.

While there’s already a rather large contingent of marijuana users who cultivated their enjoyment of the drug back when it was in legal limbo (and even when it was still totally illegal), getting new customers to try the drug will be instrumental in fueling revenue growth.

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As such, Shoppers Drug Mart is one of the best avenues to reach new cannabis consumers, due to people’s trust in the brand.

As I’ve stated many times, marijuana stocks’ success now relies on strong financial reports to help bolster share prices until the next major news event crests the horizon, such as a massive investment or another country going ahead with pot legalization.

A subsidiary of Loblaw Companies Ltd (OTCMKTS:LBLCF, TSE:L), one of Canada’s largest grocery chains, Shoppers Drug Mart could help ease the supply problems that have plagued the marijuana industry since the drug was legalized in Canada.

It’s worth noting, however, that Shoppers Drug Mart is currently only allowed to sell medical marijuana. However, I’m sure that, as laws begin to relax concerning recreational weed, we’ll see efforts by Shoppers Drug Mart and other companies to push for the legalization of private-sector online selling of recreational pot in Canada.

Marijuana stocks will need companies like Shoppers Drug Mart to keep cannabis sales on an upward trajectory. The company’s move to begin selling cannabis online represents a major step toward more availability in Canada.

TLRY Stock

Another major event being talked about in the marijuana news today is the upcoming six-month anniversary of Tilray Inc’s (NASDAQ:TLRY) initial public offering (IPO).

Why is this date significant? Because about eight million shares of TLRY stock are about to flood the market.

These shares were sold in a special deal that saw them cordoned away until the company reached 180 days post-IPO. (Source: “Tilray Shares Could Face Pressure Very Soon,” Forbes, January 6, 2018.)

With that date nearing, we’re about to see a whole lot of Tilray shares hit the market—which could very well be difficult for the stock.

You see, Tilray stock investors benefited early on by having so few shares available when it first went public. With the float set to dramatically increase in the coming weeks, we may see a sell-off as certain owners of the stock—whose hands were tied until this point—finally get the ability to trade.

The thing is, the shares that were sequestered were purchased at the low price of $7.10. With TLRY stock now worth almost 11 times that figure, many investors may seek to make quick cash by checking out, leading to a sell-off.

But there’s still a lot of hype surrounding Tilray and its future placement in the marijuana industry. Therefore, there’s a decent chance that we see no investor pullback at all.

While I foresee a bit of a stumble in price when the shares are released, I think it will be just that—a mere stumble. I believe that Tilray stock will be quick to recover, and we’ll see the stock perform admirably in the near future.

In the meantime, TLRY stock jumped big in early-morning trading today, up six percent. This is a dramatic outpacing of most other pot stocks today, which, for the most part, broke about even.

Over the past five days, Tilray stock has climbed eight percent, in keeping with the larger market rally that the marijuana industry has been experiencing.

CGC Stock

Much like Tilray, Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC) has seen its fortunes change over the past few days.

The wider market rally has seen CGC stock jump by about eight percent over the past five days, although the marijuana news today has the stock seeing little price movement.

Canopy Growth, however, made an announcement I like very much, once again reiterating its plans to enter the U.S. hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) market post-legalization.

“Canopy has been preparing for and investing in this opportunity for several years now, through strategic acquisitions, infrastructure expansion, and extensive internal research and development,” said Bruce Linton, CEO of Canopy Growth. (Source: “Canopy Growth Outlines its CBD Advantage,” Canopy Growth Corp, January 8, 2019.)

Linton added,

With the door now open, we are moving fast to bring our considerable resources to establish the same market leadership position internationally that we have earned in the Canadian cannabis market. Canopy has a strong supply of CBD, a significant channel presence, the IP to drive the CBD industry forward to the benefit of consumers, and the balance sheet needed to act now.

With the U.S. 2018 Farm Bill approved, the hemp industry is likely to be the first way for some marijuana producers to interact with the American market on a national scale.

While many cannabis derivatives are still federally prohibited, we’re seeing steady progress being made, with the first-ever marijuana-derived drug being approved at the federal level last year—as well as the reclassification of medicines with high concentrations of CBD and low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

With that in mind, I support Canopy Growth’s decision to enter the U.S. market via hemp and CBD. Global expansion is always on my list of top priorities for marijuana companies, and finding a way into the most lucrative market on Earth is only going to bolster CGC stock.

TLRY and CGC Stock Performances

The performances of TLRY 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

Development of the Canadian marijuana industry continues apace, with the expansion of legal online sales of medical cannabis in the marijuana news today.

Meanwhile, the market has been rallying, with pot stocks seeing solid gains in the past few days, in what has been an auspicious start to 2019. Expect these good days to continue for the next week or so (at least).