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Marijuana Index Falls to Two-Month Lows as Cronos Becomes First Pot Stock to Trade on Nasdaq

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Pot stocks were down across the board on Monday even as Cronos Group (MJN) achieved what no other company has: a spot on the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index. The Toronto-based cannabis producer will begin trading on the exchange Tuesday morning.

Marijuana Stocks Falter

The North American Marijuana Index, which tracks 39 top cannabis producers across the continent, fell 4.8% on Monday to $246.02. That was the lowest level since Dec. 26.

Huge losses were reported across the board, with Abcann Global Corporation (ABCN) and MYM Nutraceuticals Inc. (MYM) each falling double-digits percentage-wise.

Losses were evenly spread across U.S. and Canadian marijuana stocks. The U.S. Marijuana Index closed down 4.8% at $78.50, while the Canadian index fell 4.4% to $675.46.

The Canadian Marijuana Index has a capitalization of more than $23 billion spread out across 24 companies. This includes industry leaders such as GW Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CNX), Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED) and Terra Tech Corp (TRTC).

By comparison, the U.S. index tracks 15 companies with a combined market cap of around $5 billion.

Cronos Achieves Major Milestone

By listing on the Nasdaq, Cronos has set the bar high for marijuana companies. The timing couldn’t be better. Investors across North America are looking to raise their stake in Canadian cannabis stocks ahead of the country’s planned legalization this summer.

Interestingly, Cronos is more integrated in the medical marijuana business as opposed to recreational pot. Medical weed has been fully legal in Canada since 2001.

According to the official website, Cronos is “a geographically diversified and vertically integrated cannabis group that operates within Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations and distributes globally.”

The company will trade shares on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol CRON. It will also continue to trade on Toronto’s TSX Venture Exchange, where it gained 10.8% on Monday.

CEO Mike Gorenstein recently told VICE Money that, despite being a Canadian company, the majority of Cronos’ investors are in the U.S. Recreational weed is legal in only nine states, but medical marijuana is allowed in 29 states. The tide of legalization appears to be sweeping across the country despite the U.S. Justice Department’s surprise decision to repeal an Obama era policy that limited the enforcement of federal cannabis laws.

The repeal was initiated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who issued a one-page letter explaining the government’s renewed push for prohibition, even in states where recreational pot is legal. The decision was met with criticism from both sides of the aisle. Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardner was especially concerned with the administration’s new direction.

“Why is Donald Trump thinking differently than what he promised the people of Colorado in 2016?” he said in a speech from early January. “Thousands of jobs at risk, millions of dollars in revenue, and certainly the question of constitutional states rights — very much at the core of this discussion.”

We speculated back in January that Sessions’ decision is unlikely to deter the U.S. cannabis market. Eighty years of pent-up demand for recreational weed, combined with strong commitment at the state level to fight prohibition, suggest the market will move full steam ahead.

The U.S. cannabis market is said to be worth more than $6 billion, according to investment bank Cowen & Co. That figure could rise to $50 billion in just eight years.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 612 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Cannabis Maker Tilray Soars 50% amid U.S. Regulatory Green Light

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Medical cannabis maker Tilray (TLRY), which trades on the Nasdaq, has seen its stock expand by more than 50% today as the market cap races past $20 billion. As CNBC noted, Tilray dwarfs more than 100 companies in the S&P 500. Today’s gains are impressive, even for a stock that has gained about 900% since going public in July. Something to keep in mind is that on the fundamental side, Tilray only boasts $28 million in sales, suggesting that the stock has likely gotten ahead of itself. There’s reportedly been speculation about potential M&A involving Tilray and some rock-solid developments as well.

Meanwhile, the major indices are posting lackluster performances, which places the spotlight all the more on TLRY. Tilray has been buoyed by a couple of catalysts, not the least of which involves the regulatory green light to import cannabis into the lower 48 states for research. Additionally, Tilray chief Brendan Kennedy was featured on CNBC with Jim Cramer, which gave the company good exposure.

 

Source: Yahoo Finance

Kennedy in the “Mad Money” interview with Cramer pointed to a global medical marijuana market with the potential to be worth $150 billion despite all of the regulatory hurdles, one of which the company just cleared. It’s a market in which pharmaceutical giants need to play to remain competitive. Kennedy told Cramer:

“Cannabis is a substitute for prescription painkillers, prescription opioids, and so if you’re an investor in a pharmaceutical company or you’re a pharmaceutical company, you have to hedge the offset from cannabis substitution.”

Similarly, alcohol companies and investors need to jump in because “it’s a great hedge for them.”

Regulatory Bump

In a paradigm shift, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has handed regulatory approval to Tilray to import medical cannabis to the United States for research purposes. Tilray has partnered with the UC San Diego to start. It’s a major boon for the Canadian marijuana play that already has a presence in the U.S., as now its North American positioning will only be strengthened.

Not to mention the fact that Coca-Cola announced it’s exploring an expansion into the cannabis industry, too. The beverage giant is in discussion with Aurora Cannabis for a possible marijuana drink. It’s created a frenzy in the cannabis market akin to the early excitement surrounding the blockchain.

Similar to crypto, there’s a great deal of speculation that’s driving Tilray shares right now, and as Cramer pointed out “a lot of retail money,” which may not end well for everyone. Until then, all eyes are on Oct. 17, which is when cannabis is legalized for recreational use in Canada.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 62 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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Canada Goes Green as Senators Approve Recreational Marijuana Bill

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Canada will become the first G7 nation to legalize recreational marijuana after a Senate vote Tuesday night cleared the final hurdle to a ceremonial approval later this year.

Canada Goes Green

The upper chamber voted 52 to 29 in favor of passing Bill C-45, a controversial proposal to end the generational ban on recreational pot. The Senate passed the bill mere days before a Parliamentary recess began, paving the way for implementation by the end of summer.

It is unclear when Bill C-45 will receive ceremonial approval by the governor-general – the final step before it becomes law – although ministers said an additional 12 weeks beyond that may be required before retail sales begin.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter Tuesday to announce the Senate’s decision:

“It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate. #PromiseKept.”

Investors Look to Get High on Canadian Weed

The Senate’s decision makes the world’s eleventh-largest economy an attractive destination for yield-seeking investors looking to capitalize on an industry with high-growth potential.

Canadians spent $5.7 billion on marijuana last year, according to the government’s top statistics agency. The nation’s 5 million pot consumers doled out an average of about $1,200 on the green plant and its derivatives, with 90% of the proceeds going to the black market. By comparison, Canadians spent just over $22 billion on alcohol and $16 billion on tobacco products.

This year, Canadians are expected to consume about 474 metric tons of marijuana flower, according to GT Research, a cannabis analytics company. Consumption is expected to reach roughly 861 metric tons in four years.

Research from Deloitte suggests legal pot sales in Canada will exceed $7 billion. However, the economic footprint is expected to be much larger. When factoring direct and indirect activity, legal weed could generate up to $22.6 billion in economic value.

The end of prohibition, once confirmed later this year, will take the weight off marijuana producers that have wagered big on legalization. After a flurry of consolidation domestically, Canadian producers are now setting their sights on countries like Italy, Spain and Colombia for expansion.

The Canadian weed landscape has experienced “merger madness” over the past 12 months, with larger firms snatching up smaller players in a series of moves. Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB) recently acquired MedReleaf Corp for $2.9 billion. In January, it agreed to buy CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. for $1 billion.

Canada is now home to over 90 publicly-listed marijuana producers collectively valued at more than $31 billion. The top-24 producers capture about 88% of that market. The biggest pot stocks are listed on the Canadian Marijuana Index, which is nearly four times bigger than the U.S. index despite America being ten times greater in size.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 612 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Marijuana Stocks Trade at Four-Month Highs as Canadian Senate Approves Cannabis Act

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North America’s marijuana index is riding high once again after one of the world’s biggest cannabis markets moved one step closer to full legalization.

Canada’s Senate Passes Cannabis Act

Canada’s cannabis bill passed third reading in the Senate last week and in doing so overcame one of the last critical hurdles to full legalization of recreational marijuana. Bill C-45, the so-called cannabis bill, was approved by a vote of 56-30 with one abstention.

The amended bill goes back to the House of Commons, where Liberal Members of Parliament will determine which amendments to keep and which to omit before sending it back to the Senate. Once the bill is passed, provincial governments will have up to three months to prepare for full implementation of the law. At that point, recreational cannabis will be available for sale. According to various studies, the sale of recreational weed will open up a multi-billion-dollar industry.

However, it’s not entirely clear how long the Liberals will need to review the amended bill before sending it back to the Senate. There are currently three ministers looking over the amendments. Although most Senate amendments are minor, about a dozen stick out as significant impediments to implementation.

For cannabis companies, this could mean many more months of uncertainty. However, in the grand scheme of things, the passing of Bill C-45 is a major breakthrough for businesses that have gambled heavily on the legalization of recreational pot.

Marijuana Stocks Rise

After initial trepidation, marijuana stocks have risen sharply since Canada passed Bill C-45. However, the bulk of the gains have been concentrated south of the border, a sign that investors were becoming more optimistic that the Trump administration would continue to back off states seeking to legalize recreational cannabis.

The North American Marijuana Index, which tracks 41 companies in Canada and the United States, rose 1.8% on Monday to $277.70. That was its highest settlement since Feb. 15.

Shares of marijuana companies have gained 10.6% over the past month but are still well below peak levels from early January.

All of the gains Monday came from U.S. companies, with the likes of MariMed Inc. (MRMD), CV Sciences Inc. (CVSI) and WeedMD Inc. (WMD) putting up large gains. The U.S. Marijuana Index jumped 5.3% to $110.04, its highest since late January.

Canadian cannabis stocks fell 1.5% on Monday, their third consecutive down session. The Canadian version of the marijuana index, which contains 24 companies collectively valued at $26.2 billion, rose to more than two-month highs ahead of the Senate vote on Bill C-45.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 612 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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