Marijuana News Today
The marijuana news today is all about medical cannabis. And, more importantly to our readers, medical marijuana stocks.
The biggest news is that we now have the first ever cannabis-derived prescription drug officially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In addition to that huge victory for medical cannabis, the state of Arkansas is now one step closer to gaining legal access to medical marijuana. (Source: “Medical marijuana may soon be for sale in Arkansas. Is Oklahoma next?” CNN, June 25, 2018.)
The marijuana news today is almost entirely divorced from the recreational marijuana headlines that have dominated for the past week or so, since Canada officially announced its marijuana legalization date.
Today’s news instead revolves around the lucrative but, at times, overlooked medical cannabis market, which is also growing in prominence and value.
Take a look at Arkansas, for instance. Hardly a progressive stronghold, the state nonetheless voted back in 2016 to permit the use of medical marijuana in the treatment of certain ailments.
The legalization process in the state was trucking along until the courts became tied up by legal challenges regarding the licensing process.
More than 80 applications were submitted to the state to legally grow cannabis. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission granted only five such licenses in February, leading one of the companies that was denied a permit to sue.
The lawsuit sent the issue to the courts, where it tied up the legalization process. But the Arkansas Supreme Court recently ruled that the lower court was acting beyond its authority by staying the entire process.
So now Arkansas is one step closer to legal medical marijuana access.
This comes on the back of a vote in Oklahoma today on whether that state will move toward medical marijuana legalization.
This is while the overwhelming majority of the U.S. population supports medical cannabis, with an August poll from Quinnipiac University showing that 94% of American adults support the drug’s use in medical treatment. (Source: Ibid.)
The U.S. is still a long way off from legalizing recreational marijuana, although it is undeniably closer than ever before. With each state that votes to legalize medical marijuana, the country comes a step closer to the critical mass of pressure needed to push this issue to a federal vote.
While that is unlikely to happen with the current administration in power, medical marijuana stocks will continue to grow as the potential for U.S. federal legalization grows more and more plausible with each state legalization.
GWPH Stock News
Seeing as how today was such a momentous day for cannabis-derived medicine, let’s look at the medical marijuana stock that is making all the headlines: GW Pharmaceuticals PLC-ADR (NYSE:GWPH).
Yesterday I mentioned that the company’s flagship marijuana drug “Epidiolex” was up for approval by the FDA. Today that permit came through, making it the first such drug approved by the organization.
This is a huge first step toward market penetration of cannabis-derived medicines, and GWPH stock is reaping the benefits.
GW Pharmaceuticals stock was up by more than six percent in pre-market trading, following the FDA announcement.
Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com
APH Stock News
Speaking of big wins, Aphria Inc (OTCMKTS:APHQF, TSE:APH) registered gains of about two percent yesterday. While not exactly mind-blowing progress, this is impressive, mostly due to the fact that many other marijuana stocks saw significant regression by Monday’s end.
Even GW Pharmaceuticals stock, despite the hype surrounding its potential FDA approval, fell by about four percent yesterday.
Aphria stock, meanwhile, was able to mark gains against the trend. This is likely due to APH stock’s comparatively muted progress during this most recent marijuana rush.
As I wrote yesterday, these huge runs are almost always followed by dramatic pullbacks. This week is starting out no different.
But, for Aphria stock, that may work in its favor, as investors see one of the few marijuana plays that hasn’t been inflated from last week’s impressive industry-wide jump.
Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC) was one of the greatest beneficiaries of last week’s marijuana rush, gaining double-digits in its stock value by the end of the week.
But yesterday, the company gave back about five percent, and pre-market trading today had CGC stock down further by one percent.
This is all par for the course: a boom and bust cycle that marijuana investors are readily familiar with.
Canopy Growth stock still holds a lot of value, and I expect it to bounce back and repeat this cycle several more times this summer, with the long-term outlook still being positive for the company.
A big win for medical cannabis and a big loss for a number marijuana stocks is the marijuana news today.
The future of the medical marijuana industry indeed looks bright, and investors need not fear the correction we’re seeing in the market. These cycles play out time and again. The current cycle will be broken by another marijuana rush soon enough, only for the whole thing to repeat itself.