Marijuana News Today: New York Legalization Just Got a Whole Lot Closer

marijuana news today august 3
iStock.com/Dmitriy83

Marijuana News Today: New York Marijuana Legalization

In a familiar story in 2018, the marijuana news today has yet another U.S. state  signaling that it is ready for recreational marijuana legalization. This time, New York marijuana legalization is being supported by the state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo released a statement that detailed the findings of a study commissioned in January 2018. The results were not exactly revelatory, but they were positive for the marijuana industry.

The study concluded that the “positive impacts of a regulated marijuana market in New York State outweigh the potential negative impacts, and that areas that may be a cause for concern can be mitigated with regulation and proper use of public education that is tailored to address key populations.” (Source: “Governor Cuomo Announces Workgroup to Draft Legislation for Regulated Adult-Use Marijuana Program,” New York State, August 2, 2018.)

I feel like any number of people paying attention to the marijuana market could have said as much and saved the state a lot of money, but oh well. The results, at least, were the ones that we pot bulls wanted.

“The next steps must be taken thoughtfully and deliberately,” said Cuomo.

He added,

As we work to implement the report’s recommendations through legislation, we must thoroughly consider all aspects of a regulated marijuana program, including its impact on public health, criminal justice and State revenue, and mitigate any potential risks associated with it. I thank the members of the workgroup for their time and expertise as we work to craft a model program.

The report also contained a few other nuggets of positivity as it concluded that a regulated marijuana industry in New York would help mend some of the racial disparities in the criminal justice system. And of course, reducing incarceration will save the state money, which no one is against.

Cuomo has long been a supporter of sorts for New York marijuana legalization, pushing medical marijuana in 2014 and a couple of bills for decriminalization. While the medical marijuana bill did pass, the others failed to get the requisite votes in the legislature.

But today marks another turning point for the marijuana industry. Legalization  in New York would naturally be a huge win for pot stocks, since the state is among the most populous and richest in America.

With the increasing probability of marijuana legalization in New York, we are fast approaching a situation in which 80 million U.S. citizens would have state-level legal access to recreational marijuana, despite federal laws against it.

There is a threshold that will be passed, and each additional state coming into the fold is only bringing us closer to that tipping point.

Of course, just because Cuomo has come out in support of New York marijuana legalization doesn’t mean it will necessarily happen. However, it does mean that legalization is closer than ever before and will likely pass the legislature at some point—or go to the state for a referendum.

Cannabis companies, meanwhile, will watch with hungry eyes as another massive market looks like it will open up to marijuana sales.

Canopy Stock, Aphria Stock, & Tilray Stock Performances

While the marijuana news today politically is solid, the pot stock market is closing the week out on uneven terms.

The graph below showcases the performance of the three stocks we will look at in this article: Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC) in black, Aphria Inc (OTCMKTS:APHQF, TSE:APH) in blue, and Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) in red.

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

 Canopy Growth Stock

CGC stock was down about one point in early-morning trading but is up just a hair on the week.

Again, we’re measuring success here in how much a company doesn’t lose during this correction. Overall, that’s a successful week for CGC stock, provided that today doesn’t take a drastic downward turn.

CGC stock has been slowly bleeding its gains away over the past month, and we’re still waiting for that trend to turn around.

I believe that September—at the latest—will see this correction die. Until then, we may be in for a few more weeks of measured losses.

On the whole, however, CGC stock remains among my top long-term marijuana stock picks.

Aphria Stock

One of the worst performances among pot stocks this week came from Aphria Inc.

Aphria stock fell by six percent and is down half a point in early-morning trading.

Much of this is the result of its earnings report that was released this week.

While Aphria logged a surge of revenue from CA$5.7 million a year ago to CA$12.0 million this year, net losses also nearly doubled. (Source: “Aphria Records Revenue Increase Of 17% In Quarter And 81% Year Over Year,” Aphria Inc, August 1, 2018.)

APHQF stock fell as a result.

The losses were attributed to higher compensation, costs associated with “Aphria International,” and losses in the company’s investment portfolio.

Aphria stock has, of course, been one of the darker spots in the marijuana industry in 2018. While many stocks have lost significant value year-to-date, few have performed as poorly as Aphria.

The company’s share value has plummeted by over 45% in 2018 and has shown an inability to stage any sort of sustained recovery.

Other marijuana stocks have suffered this year, but not to that extent, and not without at least some extended periods of gains.

Overall, I’ve grown very cold on APHQF stock, at least in the short term.

There is hope for the company in the long term, but right now, Aphria stock needs to show it can recover.

Tilray Stock

Experiencing quite the opposite week of Aphria stock is Tilray Inc.

TLRY stock is up five percent on the week and showed little movement in early-morning trading today.

TLRY stock will continue to remain volatile in the aftermath of its blockbuster initial public offering (IPO), which saw the first marijuana company go public on the Nasdaq.

The thirst for this happening was very real, and we saw that translate into massive—nearly 80%!—gains in a few short days.

But, of course, that hype could not sustain such ridiculous growth, and we saw the company fall back to Earth a week later.

Now expect to see these types of rises and falls of five-or-so percent as investors seek to appropriately price TLRY stock.

 Analyst Take

Another big political win dominates the marijuana news today.

It seems that every week we report that another U.S. state is looking to legalize cannabis or that a prominent politician has come out in favor of recreational marijuana legalization.

You don’t have to be a meteorologist to know which way the wind is blowing. Marijuana legalization in the U.S. is inbound and the New York marijuana legalization push is only going to bring it that much closer.

Of course, we’re still talking potentially years out, but the writing is on the wall.

For those looking to play the long game of marijuana investing, that’s information you can take to the bank.