Marijuana News Today: No Crackdown on Massachusetts Marijuana Market, Pot Stocks Down

No Crackdown on Massachusetts Marijuana
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Marijuana News Today

The marijuana news today reveals another big win for U.S. cannabis legalization as the top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts released a statement saying that federal authorities will refrain from clamping down on the now-legal pot industry in the state.

Andrew Lelling, the United States attorney for Massachusetts, said that marijuana will not be the priority for his office. Instead, the attorney’s office will focus on fighting the opioid addiction epidemic, which led to 2,000 deaths in Massachusetts last year. (Source: “Prosecutor gives cautious green light to marijuana in Mass.The Boston Globe, July 10, 2018.)

While not giving total free rein to marijuana businesses, Lelling’s statement said that the feds in the state would not be pursuing marijuana to the fullest extent of their abilities. Concern has abounded ever since Attorney General Jeff Sessions assumed his title and threatened a U.S. marijuana crackdown, even in states that had regulated the drug.

“I will not effectively immunize the residents of the Commonwealth from federal marijuana enforcement,” said Lelling. “My office’s resources, however, are primarily focused on combatting the opioid epidemic that claims thousands of lives in the Commonwealth each year.”

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While this is all fantastic news, especially for any marijuana companies looking to make a play for the Massachusetts market, there are still some caveats.

First, banks working with marijuana growers and sellers are still subject to the federal requirements imposed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

These requirements mandate that banks must submit a suspicious-activity report for each individual marijuana-related transaction. This is a time-consuming and costly process, and one of the chief factors preventing banks from becoming more involved in the booming marijuana industry.

There are also other restrictions in the state that will prevent a boom of new marijuana companies setting up shop, including a cap on how much marijuana a company can legally grow.

While the restrictions will certainly hinder some aspects of the marijuana market, the federal reassurance is still a big win for the industry. It will allow marijuana bulls to breathe a sigh of relief that a U.S. marijuana crackdown is not on the way, at least not in Massachusetts.

Canopy Growth Stock News

While the marijuana news today politically is once again encouraging, this week is turning into a rather poor one for marijuana stocks.

Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC) stock is down about two percent since the beginning of this week.

But the big news for the company is its acquisition of Hiku Brands Company Ltd (OTCMKTS:DJACF, CSE:HIKU). Hiku owns the “Tokyo Smoke” chain of stores, which sell cannabis-related products.

The company is also going to step into the marijuana space on October 17, when it will begin peddling recreational marijuana at its storefronts.

This is yet another step by CGC stock into the exciting Canadian marijuana retail market.

The acquisition led to a point increase in stock value in early-morning trading today, but so far this week has not been great for Canopy Growth stock.

I had anticipated that this would be a slower time for marijuana stocks as the industry recovers from the ups and downs of late June, following the announcement of the Canadian marijuana legalization date.

I had, however, hoped that the industry would be trending up with a few slight gains, rather than trending down.

At the moment, it appears that the marijuana industry is going to be on the decline for the next few days as investors become skittish following the recent massive boon.

I expect CGC stock and other solid players in the marijuana sector to weather this storm and get back to positives in the near future. I imagine that August and September will be solid times for cannabis stocks as fervor once more builds in anticipation of +

-Canadian marijuana legalization.

With CGC stock being among the top players in the marijuana industry, I expect it to have one of the stronger performances to close out 2018.

Aurora Cannabis Stock News

Aurora Cannabis Inc (OTCMKTS:ACBFF, TSE:ACB) is almost exactly mirroring Canopy Growth stock at the moment, down about two percent since the start of this week.

ACBFF stock is in a somewhat weaker position compared to CGC stock, in that its numerous acquisitions have yet to pan out. Or at least they haven’t translated into the massive stock price growth that the company sought.

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Aurora Cannabis is, of course, still a major player in the marijuana industry and it has strong connections in Canada, which will benefit the company massively when legalization hits.

At the same time, Aurora’s aggressive maneuvering earlier in the year may have put some investors off.

Overall, I like Aurora Cannabis stock, but I think that it will perform weaker in comparison to Canopy Growth stock.

Aphria Stock News

One of the more volatile performers so far in 2018, Aphria Inc (OTCMKTS:APHQF, TSE:APH) has had a comparatively decent week.

The Aphria stock price has remained level so far this month, and that makes it one of the more solid pot stocks.

While the legal marijuana sector appears to be in store for a downward trend for the next little while, APHQF stock may be able to see some gains, due to its already dramatically lowered stock value since the beginning of this year.

Of course, gains have been the hope for Aphria since mid-January, and the company has yet to fulfill that promise. Therefore, it’s hard to say with any certainty whether Aphria stock will recapture investor interest.

Analyst Take

The U.S. federal government does not appear to be interested in a marijuana crackdown in Massachusetts, and that is exactly what we want to see in the pot stock market. The marijuana news today once more shows that the feds are content to let the states operate as they will, with little interference.

While legalization on the federal level is still years away, marijuana companies have been free to operate in the states that have legalized the drug so far.

As for the marijuana stock market, it appears that a few weeks of downturns may be ahead, but those are likely to be ultimately offset by Canadian marijuana legalization hype later this summer.