Marijuana News Today
The marijuana news today has me particularly excited about a marijuana penny stock that has been stealing headlines since it added pot luminary Bruce Linton to its team.
But before we cover Vireo Health International Inc (OTCMKTS:VREOF, CNSX:VREO), I need to tackle another major trend in the marijuana business: the growing momentum in favor of federal U.S. marijuana legalization.
As I’ve said a number of times now, if federal U.S. marijuana legalization were to be passed in any form, I’d imagine that pot stocks would quickly be freed from their current funk and investors would be grinning from ear to ear
While I’ve covered the political support behind pot legalization before, (specifically within the Democratic Party, where almost every major presidential candidate supports marijuana reform), today I’m looking at the issue from a different angle: health.
Right now, we’re seeing a massive medical scare in the United States. Black-market vaping has caused many cases of lung-related illnesses, with one such case leading to a double lung transplant for a teen. (Source: “Teen receives double lung transplant after vaping-related illness,” CNN, November 12, 2019.)
While this is without a doubt a tragedy (with many people now having suffered serious health problems due to vaping-related illnesses), one marijuana executive was quick to point out an obvious solution: legalize and regulate pot.
Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) CEO Brendan Kennedy told CNBC that legalizing marijuana in the U.S. would quickly spell an end to vaping-related illnesses.
“All the products that we produce in Canada and produce around the world are well tested by not only Health Canada, but regulators in other countries,” said Kennedy. (Source: “Tilray CEO says vaping illness outbreak could lead to marijuana legalization,” CNBC, November 12, 2019.)
“One could argue this vaping crisis could lead to more legalization.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that most of the injuries are stemming from black-market vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary compound in pot that gets one high.
The U.S. has taken a particularly stringent stance against THC, considering that the country legalized hemp in late 2018. Now cannabidiol (CBD) is virtually legal across the U.S., with THC being the main target of the country’s continuing drug prohibition.
While the CDC does not know for sure the cause of the lung illnesses, it does have its theories. In any case, it stands to reason that vaping products that have no health oversights are going to carry higher risks versus products developed under the watchful eyes of government regulators.
In any case, it’s yet another strong argument for the implementation of federal U.S. marijuana legalization.
While legalization is the inevitable conclusion of the pot debate, considering how strong younger voter support is for pot, the question comes down to timing.
The sooner the better for pot stocks, especially considering the current downturn. Topics like the vaping health crisis could help bring the issue to a head and force lawmakers’ hands. In that event, pot stocks would likely explode in value.
Speaking of exploding in value, one marijuana penny stock has been stealing headlines as of late, with the marijuana news today being no different.
Admittedly, Vireo Health International Inc is not a company that I was overly familiar with before last week. To me, it seemed like just another penny stock getting smashed by the current cannabis stock correction.
But then the unexpected happened: Bruce Linton, founder and former CEO of Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC), joined Vireo.
Suffice to say, things began looking up for Vireo stock almost immediately. VREOF stock climbed about 25% over the past five days and went up by an additional five percent in early-morning trading today.
It’s surprising that this is where Linton chose to land, but considering his track record of taking a small company and turning it into a global, billion-dollar empire, Vireo is certainly worth following.
“This is a science-backed marijuana company that met my criteria for best practices and a valid methodology,” said Linton. (Source: “Ex-Canopy CEO Bruce Linton joins U.S. cannabis company Vireo Health,” MarketWatch, November 11, 2019.)
“This struck me as a company doing a lot of good work that nobody knows about.”
The marijuana health company, which operates out of Minneapolis, was established five years ago. The medical cannabis company is active in 11 U.S. states, with offices in New York, Denver, Minnesota, and Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Linton will join the board and work closely with Vireo’s CEO, Dr. Kyle Kingsley.
“We really looked to bring in professionals that understand science and intellectual property,” said Kingsley. (Source: Ibid.)
Vireo is a small pot company with 400 employees. It registered $18.5 million in revenue for fiscal 2018, a far cry from the billion-dollar revenue projections that some pot companies have made.
It has 13 patents pending, 11 manufacturing licenses, 32 dispensary licenses, and two hemp licenses. Operating in the U.S. makes the company especially valuable as we move closer toward federal U.S. marijuana legalization.
While I can’t say with certainty that Vireo stock will be able to sustain its current gains, I will say this: overnight, VREOF stock became a must-watch with the addition of Linton. This is now easily one of the most exciting marijuana penny stocks around.
From the exciting to the old and reliable, another pot stock with a strong performance over the past week is Innovation Industrial Properties Inc (NYSE:IIPR).
Innovation Industrial Properties stock remained static in early-morning trading today, but it has gained over 10% in the past five days.
My love for IIPR stock is well documented. It’s a marijuana real estate investment trust (REIT), meaning that a minimum of 90% of its profits need to be distributed to shareholders via dividends.
On top of that, this stock has seen massive price growth in 2019. And unlike many other pot stocks, Innovation Industrial Properties stock did not plummet during the summer and the following months.
That’s because the company’s business model, while firmly entrenched in the marijuana sector, is not a direct pot business. Since the company sells land to cannabis producers, both in the recreational and medical sectors, it is not constrained by the fight against recreational pot in the United States.
As such, it’s not subject to the same kind of volatility that most weed stocks contend with.
Another benefit is that Innovation Industrial Properties operates in the United States. That means, as the legal cannabis sector continues to expand in America, this company stands to benefit greatly.
Overall, IIPR stock is worth following as it continues to impress, even during the current marijuana stock correction.
VREOF & IIPR Stock Performances
The performances of VREOF stock (black line) and IIPR stock (blue line) over the past week are seen in the chart below:
Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com
The marijuana news today is bright, with U.S. marijuana legalization continuing to pick up steam while a new marijuana penny stock excites investors.