Marijuana News Today: Senate Scores Big Win for States’ Rights on Pot Issue

States' Rights on Pot Issue
iStock.com/Noah Guest

Marijuana News Today

In the marijuana news today is a battle that has been brewing for well over a year now. Will the current White House administration crack down on states that have legalized marijuana?

Thankfully, the answer likely points to “No.”

In a bipartisan move (increasingly rare in today’s fraught political climate) the House Appropriations Committee voted to add a provision that protects medical marijuana users and producers in states where the drug is legal—as a rider to legislation funding the U.S. Department of Justice. (Source: “Congressional Committee Protects Medical Marijuana From Jeff Sessions,Forbes, May 17, 2018.)

While there were already protections in place, their sustainability was in question because Attorney General Jeff Sessions had asked to have them revoked.

Sessions has long held that marijuana is a dangerous drug, with many believing that he wanted to use his newfound power as AG to clamp down on cannabis, even in states where it is legal, by using federal law to overrule state law.

“I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department [of Justice] to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime,” wrote Sessions in 2017. (Source: Ibid.)

One of the more vocal defenders of marijuana, in this case, was Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), who proposed the amendment.

“I’d be remiss if I did not point out that recent polling from just last month shows 92 percent of the American people support the use of medical marijuana,” said Joyce before the House Appropriations Committee. “In fact, even more voters from every political demographic oppose federal interference in state marijuana laws.” (Source: Ibid.)

This is another huge win for marijuana on the federal level. Fears of  a U.S. marijuana crackdown had been widespread for over a year now, due to Sessions and his views on cannabis.

With state protections being included in legislation, alongside President Donald Trump’s statement that he endorses states’ rights on this issue, you have pretty solid protections for allowing the legal marijuana sector to continue to grow in the U.S.

Canopy Growth Stock News

Also in the marijuana news today is Canopy Growth Corp (OTCMKTS:TWMJF, TSE:WEED) and its impressive run in May.

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Canopy Growth stock is up by almost 15% over the past five days, bolstered both by a recovering marijuana sector and the announcement that the company would soon be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The NYSE listing for Canopy Growth stock is the most direct contributor to its run.

The move will make Canopy Growth stock just the second pure-play marijuana company to list on a major international stock exchange. This will make it more attractive to U.S. and international investors, likely pegging Canopy Growth stock as a target of capital in the near future.

Despite the fact that the Aurora Cannabis Inc (OTCMKTS:ACBFF, TSE:ACB) and MedReleaf Corp (OTCMKTS:MEDFF, TSE:LEAF) merger will likely depose Canopy as the biggest company in the marijuana industry by market cap, that has had little negative effect so far on stock growth.

In fact, the market’s cool reaction to the merger may actually have served as a boon to Canopy Growth stock.

MedReleaf Stock News

As mentioned above, the merger between Aurora and MedReleaf has not had the intended effect on the two companies’ stock values.

Both Aurora and MedReleaf stock are both down over the past five days—ACBFF stock by six percent and MedReleaf stock by four percent.

Both companies have seen a recovery today, however, with each gaining about five percent as of this writing.

But the attitude in the market about the deal is lukewarm at best, as evidenced by the up-and-down swings in the two companies’ share prices.

MedReleaf stock is likely to emerge the stronger of the two when all is said and done. But unless views about the deal are able to turn around, we may not even see a significant boost before it is absorbed by ACBFF stock.

CRON Stock News

Another volatile player in the marijuana news today is Cronos Group Inc (NASDAQ:CRON). The first stock to be listed on a major international exchange in the marijuana industry, CRON stock has had a very mercurial last few months.

Now that Canopy Growth stock is joining the NYSE, I believe that we will see a drop in interest toward Cronos stock.

While CRON stock is up around five percent today, over the past five days it has registered virtually no growth. The stock price continues to be prone to big swings in both directions, with little in the way of sustainable growth.

We’ll see if Cronos stock will be able to handle the challenge from Canopy Growth stock and create lasting gains.

Analyst Take

A big part of the marijuana news today is that, with political pressure building in the United States in support of cannabis, the marijuana market has never been stronger in America.

Meanwhile, the cannabis stock market has proven to be very strong for many companies in May, while some companies continue to face negative volatility.

CRON stock and MedReleaf stock have had unpredictable months so far, and I don’t see that changing. Both are at the mercy of investor sentiment—in CRON’s case, about the company’s market cap and in MedReleaf’s case, about the merger.