Marijuana News Today: U.S. Marijuana Legalization Faces Legal Challenges

Marijuana Legalization Faces Challenges
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Marijuana News Today

The marijuana news today features a pair of legal obstacles facing U.S. marijuana legalization in two states: Massachusetts and Florida.

Florida is perhaps the more pressing of the two, with a judge soon rendering a decision on whether patients who are already allowed to use medical marijuana are also allowed to smoke cannabis. (Source: “Judge to decide Florida ban on smokable medical marijuana,” ABC News, May 16, 2018.)

Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2016 allowing the use of medical marijuana, but the legislature of Florida passed a law that prohibited the sale of smoking products, instead limiting the usage of cannabis to vaping, edibles, oils, sprays, and tinctures.

The argument against pot smoking is that it poses a health risk, whereas the other methods of consumption are considered to be less dangerous.

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The case was first brought before a judge after two terminally ill patients with medical marijuana prescriptions challenged the law.

Now this Florida judge will decide the future of the marijuana industry in Florida.

While the extent of the impact of banning pot smoking will have on the Florida marijuana market is still uncertain, should the state eventually proceed toward recreational marijuana legalization, this law will certainly impact how the industry develops.

Furthermore, these types of laws can be used by other states to justify their own marijuana laws. That could present problems for states in the future looking to legalize pot.

Overall, whichever way the judge rules will not make or break the marijuana industry, but will be important in shaping the future of the marijuana industry in several states.

Another legal roadblock in the marijuana news today facing the U.S. pot industry takes us further north to Massachusetts.

While the state was supposed to have legal recreational pot available as early as January 2018, here we are in mid-2018 and still have yet to see any recreational pot sales in the state. (Source: “Few marijuana shops will open by July, industry experts say,Boston Globe, May 16, 2018.)

There are a number of reasons for the delay, from local communities imposing their own restrictions on pot to banks, landlords, and other lenders reluctant to engage in what is still seen as an illicit trade in some circles.

It just goes to show that passing a marijuana law in the U.S. is just one part of the process and by no means a guarantee that things will proceed smoothly.

While the U.S. continues to proceed closer and closer to full legalization across the country, each state represents its own unique challenge to the future of the marijuana industry.

While unlikely to impact marijuana companies today, these developments in the marijuana news today are certain to impact the future of the marijuana stock market.

Aurora Cannabis Stock News

Aurora Cannabis Inc (OTCMKTS:ACBFF, TSE:ACB) has been making headlines following its announcement that it would be acquiring MedReleaf Corp (OTCMKTS:MEDFF, TSE:LEAF) in the biggest marijuana acquisition to date.

The deal would also leave Aurora Cannabis as the largest marijuana company in the world by market share.

And yet, Aurora Cannabis stock has declined by eight percent over the past five days. What gives?

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Frankly, I think this is just the wrong time for the acquisition to have taken place.

Too many other marijuana companies are currently experiencing a boost in May, making Aurora Cannabis stock less appealing by way of comparison.

Furthermore, the deal is being done as an all-stock transaction, meaning that owners of Aurora Cannabis stock will experience some dilution.

Another issue is that the price tag of $3.2 billion is seen by some as too steep.

While the deal does increase Aurora Cannabis stock’s production capacity ahead of Canadian marijuana legalization, we’ll have to wait and see if the acquisition pays dividends later in the summer.

For now, Aurora Cannabis stock is going to be taking a few hits as a result of the move.

CRON Stock News

Cronos Group Inc (NASDAQ:CRON) has been one of the exceptions in early-May to the marijuana recovery.

While many other pot companies have seen strong growth this month, CRON stock was damaged by its recent financial earnings report that—while showing positive numbers—was unable to justify the company’s massive jump in market share that followed its listing on the Nasdaq.

It appears that the company’s fortunes are about to turn, however, as the company has jumped by about seven percent over the past five days.

CRON stock remains one of the most volatile marijuana stocks around ever since joining the Nasdaq, making the CRON stock forecast one of the more difficult to pin down.

Aphria Stock News

One of the best runs we’ve seen in May has occurred at Aphria Inc (OTCMKTS:APHQF, TSE:APH).

The company, which was battered through much of 2018, falling by as much as 40% at one point, has rebounded nicely with over 20% gains since the beginning of the month.

The company has gained nearly 14% over the past five days and seems poised to continue that run for some time yet.

Analyst Take

While the marijuana laws in the U.S. are developing in less-than-ideal fashion in some states, overall the political movement is positive for the marijuana news today.

Meanwhile, pot stocks are benefiting from a strong May, and they seem ready to have a strong summer run.