Marijuana News Today: Pot Stock Market Still Roaring, Virginia Opens the Door to CBD Oil

marijuana news for 21 august
iStock.com/Rex_Wholster

Marijuana News Today

The marijuana news today marks a win for the medical marijuana industry. Cannabidiol (CBD oil) is now being permitted for sale in Virginia, although the state’s model is anything but permissive.

Virginia marijuana legalization is a strange tale. The state actually had laws on the books that allowed the use of medical marijuana way back in 1979. The catch? It never got off the ground because it required a prescription from a doctor, which was illegal under federal law (and still is).

Of course, that situation is changing with the introduction of Epidiolex and its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but Virginia had attempted many decades ago to be a trailblazer of sorts in this realm. (Source: “Dozens of companies compete for a piece of Va.’s limited medical marijuana market,” The Washington Post, August 20, 2018.)

Cut to 2018 and the state government is taking one of the more stringent approaches to marijuana legalization, granting up to five permits to companies to produce CBD oil products for the purposes of medical treatment.

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Technically, Virginia CBD oil legalization isn’t even on the books, since the state is only going to grant an “affirmative defense” to anyone charged with possession.

Under the current system, a doctor can recommend—not prescribe—CBD oil to treat a variety of illnesses, with the patient then able to purchase the drug without fear of arrest using the affirmative defense model. Both patient and doctor must register with the state.

Virginia medical marijuana legalization is also somewhat unique in that it requires all cultivation, production, and sales of CBD oil to be done at a single location, a restriction that marijuana companies believe will ultimately hurt sales.

But that has not hindered the interest in the Virginia CBD oil market. Thirty-two companies have applied for those five permits in the state, each ponying up a non-refundable $10,000 application fee. Permits will not be granted until late September, the state said.

Among those vying for one of those coveted five permits is Surterra Wellness, which we’ll remember is headed by billionaire William “Beau” Wrigley Jr., heir to the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company chewing gum fortune.

The marijuana news today surrounding Virginia CBD oil legalization is overall positive, but certainly has room to improve. While the state is ironically restrictive on CBD oil, considering that it tried to legalize marijuana about four decades ahead of most of the other states, it’s still a step in the right direction.

And of course, as we’ve seen countless times before, medical marijuana legalization often serves as the “gateway drug” toward full legalization as states begin to see higher tax revenue, more jobs, and a reduction in crime. They realize that marijuana is not quite the frightening narcotic that it’s been made out to be.

Cronos Stock

The stock market marijuana news today, meanwhile, is all positive. Once again we see several marijuana stocks that have been skyrocketing following last week’s big investment announcement.

While Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC) was the target of a $3.8-billion investment from alcohol producer Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ), the move has had an industry-wide affect of sending marijuana stocks soaring.

One such beneficiary has been Cronos Group Inc (NASDAQ:CRON). CRON stock is up 25% from last week, gaining 12% from Friday to Monday alone. And the good times have not stopped rolling for the company, with its stock price up about 11% in early-morning trading today.

The massive injection of capital from Constellation has helped reinvigorate the legal marijuana industry and rescue it from the correction, leading to massive gains across the board.

Cronos stock is aided by both the bull run in the marijuana industry and this morning’s announcement that the company has secured listings and has signed binding supply agreements with the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation and the BC Liquor Distribution Board, among other deals signed with Canadian provinces. (Source: “Cronos Group Inc. Announces Provincial Supply Agreements,” Cision Ltd, August 21, 2018.)

The agreements put Cronos Group Inc in an enviable position of having supply agreements spread across Canada, with the Ontario announcement being of particular import, sice the province only recently switched to a private-sector retail model.

CRON stock, as a result, is currently on a strong run.

Aphria Stock

While not rising quite as high as some of its competitors, Aphria Inc (OTCMKTS:APHQF, TSE:APH) is still climbing high on the back of the current marijuana bull run.

APH stock  is up about 19% since the start of last week, so nothing to complain about for Aphria stockholders. The stock also rose about two percent in early-morning trading today.

Of course, Aphria stock has been on the receiving end of a beating this year, losing a lot of its value and spending much of 2018 down about 40%.

But Aphria Inc still has a good deal of upside, if perhaps riskier compared to some of its more stable competitors like Canopy Growth Corp.

CRON & APHQF Stock Performances

Check out the chart below of the recent performances of the stocks of Cronos Group Inc (black line) and Aphria Inc (blue line).

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Analyst Take

The good times are rolling in now, at least as far as the marijuana stock market is concerned.

Double-digit growth is the order of the marijuana news today. Aside from that, we’re seeing a steady if less-than-ideal push for CBD oil in Virginia, which may open up to further legalization measures down the road.

Taken as a whole, it has been a fine day so far for the legal marijuana industry, and it appears that the remainder of the week is going to be a strong one for marijuana stocks.