Marijuana News Today: U.S. Market Could Be in Store for a Shakeup

Marijuana News Today
iStock.com/OlegMalyshev

Marijuana News Today

The marijuana news today is being consumed by the same topic that’s overtaking virtually all news today: tomorrow’s U.S. midterm elections.

We’ve previously discussed how state ballots containing marijuana legalization proposals will have a strong influence on the future of the cannabis sector in the United States.

Michigan and North Dakota residents will both be faced with a ballot question on whether recreational pot should be legalized. If one or both of these votes is successful, the marijuana industry will become that much larger and more enticing.

Michigan is a fairly large state, representing good prospects for increased legal cannabis sales.  Meanwhile, North Dakota is a Republican stronghold that you previously wouldn’t expect to legalize recreational pot, showing that the political divide over the herb is now waning.

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We also have Utah and Missouri voting on medicinal marijuana tomorrow.

Beyond the direct implications of the midterm elections for the marijuana industry, let’s turn our attention to the wider political consequences for the industry.

Right now, the Democrats are expected to win the House while Republicans are expected to hold the Senate. But there’s a slight chance that Democrats will take both the House and the Senate, which would be a huge boon to marijuana legalization in the U.S.

While the Republicans have softened their stance on marijuana in recent years, many within the party still hold the belief that the drug is dangerous and should remain illegal.

Although there are certainly some holdouts in the Democratic Party who believe the same, by and large the American Left has embraced marijuana more openly than the Right. We’ve even seen Democratic Party leaders and presidential hopefuls come forward with marijuana reform proposals.

What this means is that Democratic Party orthodoxy now, for the most part, embraces marijuana legalization as among its goals. If the party picks up big wins in the impending election, expect to see more action on marijuana legalization.

While we’re still a few years away from federal legalization, a Congress under the control of the Democratic Party would be far more likely to push marijuana legislation through. If that were to happen, you could expect to see the U.S. marijuana market open up within a couple of years.

Of course, this is all dependent on Democrat success in the midterms.

TLRY Stock

The marijuana news today on the pot stock market is a mixed bag. While the political outcome of tomorrow’s elections is more or less decided, with some upsets possible, the marijuana stock market is behaving erratically right now.

Today, marijuana stocks have been holding steady or dropping several points. Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) is among those marijuana stocks that fell the hardest in early-morning trading today, falling about four percent.

Over the past five days, however, the pot stock market has staged a commendable recovery.

Tilray stock climbed about seven percent over the last week. This was in response to TLRY stock’s weak performance that marked most of October. The massive drop in value allowed for a mini-recovery, resulting in that seven-point climb.

Still, tough times lay ahead for the legal marijuana industry, and I expect the correction to continue to get in the way of sustainable gains for the next few weeks.

APHA Stock

Another cannabis stock that has been mirroring Tilray stock today is Aphria Inc (NYSE:APHA). Both companies saw their share prices dip this morning, with APHA stock falling about 2.5%.

But take a look at the past week and your eyes will light up. Aphria stock climbed 21% over the past five days, likely bolstered by a delayed market reaction to the company’s switch to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

By listing on the NYSE during a downturn, Aphria stock was unable to reap the benefits of the move until the marijuana industry recovered.

While I don’t think we’ve exited the market correction quite yet, the rally last week saw investors jump back into APHA stock with renewed excitement due to its jump to the NYSE.

I expect Aphria stock to thrive in the early period of this correction, as a result of the increased excitement over the company’s shift to the NYSE listing.

TLRY & APHA Stock Performances

The TLRY stock (black line) and APHA stock (blue line) performances from the past week are seen in the chart below:

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Analyst Take

As is always the case for pot stocks, politics matter. The marijuana news today once more shines a light on just how important political decisions are to the future of the marijuana industry.

With the U.S. edging closer to pot legalization each year, tomorrow’s midterm election results could be the tipping point that makes marijuana reform a national issue.