Marijuana News Today: Pot Stock Market Soars, New York Marijuana Legalization Push Grows

marijuana news today 20 august
iStock.com/VladK213

Marijuana News Today

The marijuana news today has New York City, one of the most populous cities in the United States, once again signaling its intention to relax its policies on marijuana as further decriminalization policies are put into practice.

This time, Mayor Bill de Blasio is hoping to implement another marijuana decriminalization policy, building on an earlier move by the city that saw the New York Police Department (NYPD) begin issuing fines and tickets to public marijuana smokers versus arresting them.

As part of that decriminalization model, however, a summons would be issued to pay the fine. If avoided, that could lead to arrest.

“You don’t address your summons, it can lead to a warrant, a warrant can lead to an arrest,” said Mr. de Blasio at the time. (Source: “In New York City, Marijuana Smokers With Open Summonses to Get a Lift to Court,” The New York Times, August 19, 2018.)

Advertisement

The new policy, however, runs counter to that statement. Now officers will transport people caught smoking in public with an open summons warrant to court in order to resolve the outstanding ticket, which is often around $100.00.

While this may not seem like it has a direct impact on marijuana stocks, the pattern is clear to see for those who are paying attention: New York marijuana legalization is not far behind.

With these policy changes coming hard and fast in recent months, we’re seeing a further push toward marijuana legalization in New York, which will open up another massive, rich state to the cannabis industry.

Two of the most prominent politicians in the region, de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo, have both come out in support of marijuana reform, with Cuomo even going as far as to have formed a working group to draft a marijuana legalization bill in early August.

For de Blasio, meanwhile, the decriminalization of marijuana in New York City continues apace and is intended to reduce the number of people interacting with the justice system due to marijuana-related charges.

And it’s working. The number of people arrested for marijuana offenses declined from 53,529 in 2010 to 19,139 in 2017, according to the NYPD. Meanwhile, the number of summonses issued for the offense increased from more than 12,000 in 2013 to more than 20,500 in 2017, state court data showed.

A Wall Street Journal analysis of state court data showed that the percentage of summonses issued for a marijuana offense that resulted in an open arrest warrant increased from 33.6% in 2013 to 38% in 2017. (Source: Ibid.)

The NYPD projects that it will cut the current annual arrests by about 10,000.

Overall, this marks another seismic shift in the marijuana industry toward legalization in the state.

And of course, as each state continues to relax its laws on marijuana and progresses towards legalization, full U.S. marijuana legalization continues to become less a dream and more a reality.

While we still may be several years out, a New York marijuana legalization push would be a huge win not only for the pot industry that will serves the state’s massive market, but also for the long-term goal of federal reform.

Canopy Growth Stock

In what marijuana bulls have been anticipating for a long while now, we have one of the best starts to a week for marijuana stocks in months.

The marijuana news today had all of our featured stocks up about seven percent in early-morning trading, and that’s after having notched a very strong showing last week.

We’ll start with the marijuana stock that has everyone talking: Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE:CGC).

CGC stock shot up by just a hair under seven percent to start Monday off, in keeping with the company’s massive run since Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) increased the size of its joint venture with Canopy Growth last week.

Canopy Growth stock initially surged by about 30% in the aftermath of that deal, as Constellation, the beverage giant, agreed to invest an additional $3.8 billion into Canopy Growth Corp, raising its ownership stake of the company to 38%. Some have called the deal the biggest marijuana investment to date. (Source: “‘This is rocket fuel’: Constellation Brands spending $5 billion to boost stake in Canopy Growth,” Financial Post, August 15, 2018.)

Now we’re seeing CGC stock consolidate and sustain those gains, leaving the stock price up by about 35% since last week and marking a massive breakout for the industry leader.

Canopy Growth also had a strong showing in its most recent financial report, which will be the subject of a forthcoming Profit Confidential article.

Tilray Stock

In a classic tale of a rising tide lifting all ships, Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) also rocketed up about eight percent to start the day.

Tilray stock, you’ll remember, had a massive gain of its own when it had its initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq, becoming the first marijuana company ever to do so.

I was concerned that the massive gains (nearly 75% in a few short days) would lead to a correction and downturn for Tilray stock. Boy, was I wrong. Instead, the industry-wide rush that the Canopy Growth deal sparked has TLRY stock gaining almost 100% in value since its IPO a little over a month ago.

In the last week alone, we’ve seen Tilray stock jump by about 25%. Which is to say that the company is very much on my radar and is looking like it could be the runaway success story of marijuana stocks in 2018.

Aurora Cannabis Stock

In contrast to CGC stock and Tilray stock, Aurora Cannabis Inc (OTCMKTS:ACBFF, TSE:ACB) has had difficulty in seeing massive gains in 2018.

Until now, that is.

Aurora Cannabis stock is up about 20% over the past week and eight percent today.

The company is perhaps in the weakest position of the three, but it still very much possesses a strong stock with huge potential as Canadian marijuana legalization nears.

ACB stock is also an indirect beneficiary of the Canopy Growth deal, although it is still a little behind in terms of gains compared to CGC stock, both on the recent jump and on the year.

CGC, TLRY, & ACBFF Stock Performances

Check out the chart below of the recent performances of the stocks of Canopy Growth Corp (black line), Tilray Inc (red line), and Aurora Cannabis Inc (blue line).

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Analyst Take

While the political marijuana news today is good, the excitement of the future simply can’t compete with the massive gains we’re seeing in the present.

Remember this whenever you find yourself in a marijuana stock market correction: it has so far almost always ended in giant bull rushes that push the industry forward by leaps and bounds.

I’m on record in these articles as having said that the connection between “Big Alcohol” and marijuana companies is only going to grow–much to the benefit of marijuana stocks.

And in this instance, I’ve been proven very right, as Constellation Brands has pretty much single-handedly revived the legal marijuana industry with its massive investment in Canopy Growth Corp.

I expect more of such deals to take place in the future and, as investment capital increases in the industry, expect marijuana stocks to rise in tandem.