Marijuana News Today: U.S. Marijuana Legalization Inches Closer, Pot Stocks Show Huge Upside

Marijuana News Today
iStock.com/OlegMalyshev

Marijuana News Today

The marijuana news today shows promise, as 2018 wraps up as one of the biggest years in pot history and 2019 looks to be another big step towards marijuana legalization in the U.S.

One report puts the legal marijuana trade at $10.4 billion in the U.S. in 2019. About 250,000 jobs were devoted to the handling of marijuana plants, according to New Frontier Data, a market research and data analysis firm. (Source: “Legal marijuana industry had banner year in 2018,” WCBV5, December 27, 2018.)

Investors helped expand the industry, with $10.0 billion coming into the North American cannabis market in 2018. That’s twice what was invested into the industry in the last three years combined.

The projections are putting the market at $16.0 billion come 2019. And it’s easy to see why the market will expand in the near future.

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Georgia is going ahead with a vote to legalize medical marijuana sales in 2019, while New Hampshire recently announced that it will vote on recreational marijuana sales within the state.

With 10 states and Washington, D.C. selling legal recreational pot—and dozens more allowing medical sales—we’re seeing a pot revolution take place in slow motion.

In my opinion, the question of when U.S. marijuana legalization will occur is becoming more “when” than “if.”

While 2018 was a fantastic year for marijuana progress in America, the current White House and Republican Senate majority are not particularly keen on fixing the biggest obstacle in the way of marijuana in the U.S.: federal law.

While President Donald Trump and his first Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, were both considered threats to the marijuana industry, neither ever materialized into the bogeyman they were painted out to be.

While Sessions was (and is) a pot crusader, he never had enough time or political clout to move in and shut down marijuana production in any significant way in the states that the trade is legal.

Trump, meanwhile, has oscillated between pro- and anti-weed stances, but has now settled into a firm pro-states’ rights stance that will allow the marijuana trade to continue apace—even if federal law is still woefully far behind.

Look to the next presidential election to potentially turn the tide; should the Democrats take the Senate and the presidency—and should the victors use marijuana as a pillar of their campaigns—then we could see huge movement towards marijuana legalization in the U.S. in the next couple years.

And with every positive announcement to that effect (a leading presidential candidate coming out as a pro-pot, say) expect to see marijuana stocks skyrocket in response.

TLRY Stock

Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) did not rest during the holidays. In fact, the company was busy wheeling and dealing with two large partnerships within the past week.

The most recent one is with Anheuser Busch Inbev NV (NYSE:BUD), maker of “Budweiser” and other alcohol products.

This is something I long predicted, as Tilray is among the largest marijuana companies in the world and has yet to nab a major partnership with an “Big Alcohol” or “Big Tobacco” partner.

Its competitors, meanwhile, have been busy scoring big investments from outside, legacy industries. It was only a matter of time before Tilray followed suit.

The joint venture will be through subsidiary Labatt Breweries of Canada, with each company intending to invest up to $50.0 million into researching cannabis-infused beverages.

“For us, it’s early days in this industry and research feels like the right place to start,” said Tilray Chief Executive Officer Brendan Kennedy. “At Tilray, we’ve been performing research and develop for almost five years on lots of different aspects of cannabis and cannabinoid delivery.” (Source: “Tilray and Budweiser maker will partner to research weed drinks; Tilray stock jumps,” MarketWatch, December 22, 2018.)

TLRY stock has been one of the most valuable buys in 2018, with early investors seeing massive returns on their investment.

While that massive jump in Tilray stock value did eventually come back to Earth, the company is still one of the more impressive players in the market. Most importantly, TLRY stock has been able to weather the market downturn better than most, making it a very intriguing buy going into 2019.

Tilray stock broke even over the past five days, and was up half a percent in early morning trading.

CRON Stock

Tilray’s compatriot on the Nasdaq, Cronos Group Inc (NASDAQ:CRON), has not been as busy as TLRY stock over the holidays, but is still well worth watching.

CRON stock exploded following Altria Group Inc’s (NYSE:MO) investment in the company, bringing to fruition a long heralded team-up between “Big Tobacco” and the marijuana industry.

Cronos stock has since struggled over the past five days, down about 10%, but the future is still very bright.

With the Altria partnership on the books, there’s a lot of room left for the company to grow, as it remains one of the more intriguing marijuana penny stocks at just over $10.0 a share.

If CRON stock can leverage its partnership with Altria into higher production output and cheaper expenses, that could be huge for the future of the company.

TLRY and CRON Stock Performances

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

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Analyst Take

The marijuana news today shows massive potential both in the short- and long-terms.

The U.S. is closer than ever to legalizing marijuana, while pot stocks are making many savvy deals with legacy industries to increase their clout and influence.

Overall, despite the recent hiccup in the market, the marijuana industry is still a powerhouse and will likely yield huge gains for smart investors in the future.