Marijuana News Today: One Step Closer to Canadian Marijuana Legalization Date, Pot Stocks Benefit

marijuana news today 18 June
iStock.com/Pascal-L-Marius

Marijuana News Today

In the marijuana news today is the long sought-after Canadian marijuana legalization timeline finally being announced. Or rather, a possible timeline has been released.

MP Bill Blair, working on behalf of Canada’s federal government to try to get the Canadian marijuana legislation rolling, said the government was aiming for a September implementation date—should the bill pass by the end of this week.

“Upon Royal Assent a decision will be made by the government as to a date of implementation,” said Blair. “We’re probably looking at a date of implementation somewhere towards the beginning of September, perhaps mid-September.” (Source: “If pot bill passes by week’s end, marijuana will be legal in September: Blair,” CTV News, June 17, 2018.)

The Cannabis Act passed the Canadian Senate last week—with 39 proposed amendments—and returned to the House of Commons, where the Liberal majority would have been able to easily pass the bill.

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But the House took issue with 13 of those amendments, most notably the proposition that would allow provinces and territories to ban home-grown marijuana, prohibit pot producers from selling or distributing branded materials, and set up a registry for shareholders involved in marijuana companies.

The House majority believes that banning marijuana growing would only put constraints on the industry, that there are already enough protections in place regarding marketing pot (especially to children), and that a shareholder registry could be mishandled and potentially damage marijuana companies.

In relation to marijuana stocks, the last two amendments would likely put a hamper on legal marijuana sales by restricting marketing opportunities even further and by putting a stigma on shareholders, preventing capital injections out of fear on being on the registry.

The House of Commons is scheduled to adjourn for the summer at the end of this week, putting a bit of a crunch on the timeline.

What has to happen now is that the bill—with those 13 amendments eliminated—will return to the Senate, where they will vote on whether this current iteration of the legislation is acceptable.

If not, the bill will be shot back and forth between the two houses of government until a piece of legislation that is satisfactory to both sides can be signed.

It’s worth noting that the Senate is not an elected body in Canada. As such, it is often deemed as the less powerful of the two houses. If they begin to put major roadblocks against the Liberals in the House (who won their seats partly due to their promise to legalize marijuana), we may see a political dogfight erupt in Canada.

In any case, marijuana companies are eagerly awaiting the chance to ply their wares freely in the open market. Each delay only further damages pot stock forecasts. As such, this continued back-and-forth is not what we want to see.

While it won’t devastate marijuana stocks if they have to wait a few extra weeks for legalization in Canada, it will still set them back and hurt projections.

CGC Stock News

The political marijuana news today has been a mixed bag and—while not necessarily directly related—the marijuana stock market has been no different.

We’re seeing either muted performances or losses across the board today. Most legal marijuana companies have seen either no gains or a loss of about one percent.

Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC) has seen almost no movement in its stock price over the past five days. Although there has been a lot of short-term up-and-down movement, the end result has only been a bump of about half a percent.

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

The industry leader is still one of the better performers this year, however. Canopy Growth has been a relatively stable port in the storm that was the earlier marijuana correction.

June has seen stocks bounce high and low, with CGC stock being no exception. Except, as is usually the case, the lows are often shallower and its recovery has been quicker, speaking to the strength of Canopy Growth stock.

I still consider the company to be one of the better marijuana stocks to watch this year, and its performance so far has not disappointed.

Aphria Stock News

Aphria Inc (OTCMKTS:APHQF, TSE:APH) was actually one of the more stable performers over the past five days, but that’s not necessarily a positive.

The company took a dive at the beginning of last week and has remained down throughout the week, with a price drop of about 2.5%.

While not a calamitous loss, Aphria stock was a big winner for most of May, with several weeks of double-digit gains after a disastrous start to 2018.

I’ve long written about how Aphria stock is one of the riskier—but potentially rewarding—plays in 2018, due to the massive loss in value that the stock has taken.

At its reduced price, it was an attractive target for investors, but that rush was only able to sustain itself for those few weeks in May.

I foresee another rush from Aphria stock this summer, but I’m not confident that it will be able to sustain itself beyond a few weeks, making Aphria stock more of a short-term play at the moment.

OrganiGram Stock News

One of the strongest marijuana stocks this year, OrganiGram Inc. (OTCMKTS:OGRMF, CVE:OGI), has had a rough go of it over the past five days. OrganiGram stock took a plunge of about 6.6% in that time period.

The company has been one of the more stable and impressive pot stocks over the past year. I’m still bullish on the company, with this week seemingly an outlier.

OrganiGram has been too strong and reliable this year for us to panic after a single week of bad price movement.

My OrganiGram stock forecast is still bright, with the company projected to be one of the better performers when all is said and done in 2018.

Analyst Take

The unevenness in the political and stock realms are not what marijuana bulls would like to see.

While the marijuana news today had some hope for an earlier Canadian legalization date, ultimately there’s still a lot of political jockeying that needs to take place before we can say “mission accomplished.”

Hopefully, it’s a smooth process that does not result in any further delays to the Cannabis Act, but that’s in the hands of officials and bureaucrats now.

Meanwhile, on the stock market, June has been unkind to pot companies.

While by no means a terrible month, we have yet to see major gains. A firm Canadian marijuana legalization date would help that along.