Cannabis Weekly Round-Up: US Senator Launches Bill Set to Decriminalize Marijuana

From Canadian LPs banding together asking for tougher promotional regulations to the acquisition of ABcann by Cannabis Wheaton and a variety of market news INN provides a roundup of the week in cannabis

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This past trading week (July 31-August 4), the cannabis world saw the introduction of a Senate bill which seeks to fully decriminalize cannabis in the US. High Times, a popular culture magazine, announced the public offering of their company as they prepare to launch their stock. Investors got an in depth profile of one of the leaders of the industry in Canada and the Investing News Network (INN) was there to report on market news.

Leafly published a profile of Chuck Rifici the CEO of Cannabis Wheaton (TSXV:CBW) in which investors can get a closer look at the work Rifici does and his history with cannabis.

“After being on opiates for any amount of time, that was the beginning of a shift in my thinking. I was more open to cannabis generally after living through that kind of pain,” he told Leafly. “Cannabis seems to be a very effective answer for symptom relief, versus continually increasing your amount of opiates. I find that’s usually what resonates most in the medical community.”

In the US, Sen. Cory Booker introduced a massive piece of legislation titled the Marijuana Justice Act. This bill will see to remove cannabis from the illegal list of drugs with the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and would even offer recent prisoners to ask for an appeal on their crimes, based on small possession or consumption.

“[Drug laws] don’t make our communities any safer,” Senator Booker said.

Despite the promise of the bill, cannabis financial analyst, Alan Brochstein of 420 Investor, told INN he doesn’t expect the act to become law but hopes it might spark a conversation at evaluating these laws.

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INN also reported on the amount of money cannabis companies have raised so far this year. According to a report from Marijuana Business Daily, numbers from Viridian Capital Advisors indicate over $770 million has been raised for cannabis related business, compared to the $43 million collected during the first half of 2016.

Prior to the end of the week, Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED) released a statement indicating they are not pursuing business activities in federally illegal jurisdictions. The company is worried they could expose themselves to risks, jeopardize their listings and even face prosecution.

“Canopy Growth investors can feel confident that they are not being exposed to undue risks,” CEO Bruce Linton said in the press release.

In a  similar vein, he Canadian Securities Exchange released a statement regarding guidelines cannabis companies listed on the exchange must go if they hold assets or conduct business in the US.

“CSE maintains the position that appropriate risk disclosure for existing and potential investors should include a comprehensive discussion of the current legal framework,” the exchange indicated.

On Monday (July 31), Eight Capital analyst Daniel Pearlstein spoke on Bloomberg TV Canada about the upcoming catalysts for cannabis stocks following a slow summer. He said he expects multiple states at the federal and provincial level of government and said is bullish on the Fall.

High Times is ready to take their business into the public market. Despite investors not jumping on board the cannabis opportunities in the states, CNBC wrote, this is an interesting opportunity for investors who wish to enter this market.

“[T]his listing creates an opportunity for retail investors in a company that is close to the sale of cannabis, but not directly involved in it,” CNBC reported.

In terms of ETFs and shares, the Canadian marijuana ETF decreased over the week. Over the five-day trading period, the Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (TSX:HMMJ) dipped 3.5 percent. As of 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday, the ETF traded at $9.10. Year-to-date, the index has dropped 11.32 percent.

Over the week, a number of major cannabis stocks also saw a decline in their stock price. The two with the least decreases were Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED) and Supreme Pharmaceuticals (TSXV:FIRE).

Over the week, Canopy saw a 1 percent drop while Supreme had a 3.33 percent decline.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience and @INN_Cannabis for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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** This article is updated each week. Please scroll to the top for the most recent information**

An Interview with Analyst Neal Gilmer and Cannabis Wheaton Expands

By Bryan Mc Govern, July 28, 2017

During this past week (July 24-28), the Investing News Network (INN) had the opportunity to speak with cannabis analyst Neal Gilmer about a variety of issues in the market, including the proposed shortage Canada is set to face once full legalization is passed in 2018.

“[Health Canada] would rather have the recreational market upset of a supply shortage than the medical market,” Gilmer said about the potential legislation he expects the agency to create to protect the medical users in the market.

In company news, Cannabis Wheaton (TSXV:CBW) received confirmation from the TSXV regarding its acquisition of ABcann Global (TSXV:ABCN).

“This is an exciting milestone for the company as it marks the first step towards building Cannabis Wheaton’s proprietary platform which will support a wide range of cannabis cultivation companies,” Cannabis Wheaton’s CEO Chuck Rifici said in a press release.

A majority of Canadian LP’s banded together to introduce a grouping that will seek stricter regulations in the way cannabis will be branded and promoted.

“The main reason behind the request for regulation comes as a way to guarantee the safety of younger people while the LPs seek a way to “compete effectively” against the illegal market in Canada,” INN reported.

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On the international scale, following the legalization of adult-use in Uruguay, an almost immediate shortage due to high demand took place in the country.

“I was left with no stock,” Sebastian Scaffo, the owner of one of the four licensed pharmacies in Montevideo told La Nacion. “[I] couldn’t call to get my stock replenished.”

Looking over to the US, Michigan is set to push forward with legislation to legalize recreational cannabis. According to reporting from The Detroit News, a coalition–which has helped the legalization case in several other states–has raised over $818,000 for their efforts to earn enough signatures and put the issue on the ballot for 2018.

In a move that challenges Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ intentions against cannabis, the Senate passed an amendment to the Senate Appropriations Committee, which protects medical marijuana programs from the Department of Justice.

Finally, in Canadian cannabis news, Aphria (TSX:APH) offered a closer look at its phase 3 expansion through a flyover video of the facility, which the company tweeted is expected to produce 15,000 kilograms of medical cannabis.

This week also saw the public launch of Aphria’s US investment, Liberty Health Sciences (CSE:LHS).

“Liberty was launched to acquire and operate U.S.-based companies in the medical cannabis market, with initial focus of operations in the State of Florida,” the company said in a press release.

To round out the week, the Canadian Securities Exchange approved a three company amalgamation to begin trading on the CSE as the DOJA Cannabis Company under the DOJA symbol.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience and @INN_Cannabis for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: ABcann Global is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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