Cannabis Weekly Round-Up: Jeff Sessions Steps Down

- November 9th, 2018

The Investing News Network rounds up some of the biggest company and market news in the cannabis market for the past trading week.

During the past trading week (November 5 to 9), cannabis industry advocates rejoiced as Jeff Sessions, the biggest opponent of the US industry, stepped down as Attorney General.

An evaluation of the results from the midterm elections in the US and the impact these had on the overall cannabis market also made headlines throughout the week alongside the introduction of marijuana policy in Mexico following a crucial ruling.

Here’s a closer look at what some of the biggest news was during last week’s trading period.

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Sessions, a controversial figure due to his strong stance against the benefit of marijuana use and its business, was asked to resign by president Donald Trump on Wednesday (November 7).

Following the announcement, the public markets reacted favourably to his dismissal. Cannabis exchange-traded funds (ETFs), such as the Horizons Marijuana Life Science Index ETF (TSX:HMMJ) and the Evolve Marijuana ETF (TSX:SEED), rallied along with every pot producer on premier US exchanges.

Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), which has no effective assets in the US at the moment, rallied to a 19.53 percent increase and finished Wednesday’s trading session with a price per share of US$139.60.

The rally seen for the industry quieted down for the rest of the week but experts valued the rush as an interest for a fully open legal market in the US.

US midterm results support cannabis

Pot stocks enjoyed also enjoyed a rally this past week thanks to the results from the midterm elections in the US. Cannabis policy was approved in three new states, including a new upcoming recreational market in Michigan.

“We hope the results of this election will inspire Congress to finally start addressing the tension that exists between state and federal marijuana laws in our nation,” Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement.

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In a previous interview with the Investing News Network (INN) George Scorsis, CEO of Liberty Health Sciences (CSE:LHS) said he expects cannabis legislation to become a hot topic for the upcoming 2020 presidential elections.

According to the Pew Research Center, 62 percent of all Americans show support for sweeping marijuana legalization policy in the country.

Mexico moves closer towards legalization

Mexican Senator Olga Sanchéz, and the made choice for interior minister by President-elect Andrés Manuel Lopéz Obrador, confirmed the introduction of a bill seeking the legalization of cannabis in the country.

The policy arrives after the Mexican Supreme Court issued two ruling in favor of the drug, creating a standard for all courts in the country.

The bill would also create a marketplace for the sale and research of the drug.

“From a point of view of the negative side effects, there isn’t any reason for which cannabis isn’t illegal, while alcohol and tobacco are,” the introduced bill document said.

Don’t forget to follow us @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**

Cannabis Weekly Round-Up: Recreational Use Gains Support in Mexico

By Bryan Mc Govern, November 2, 2018

During the past trading week (October 29 to November 2), Mexico joined the legalization movement for cannabis following a pair of Supreme Court rulings in favor of recreational use.

A look at a new report from the Canadian Marketing Agency (CMA) on the best practices for cannabis promotion and general market updates also made headlines throughout the week in addition to Canadian licensed producers (LPs) uplisting to the New York Stock Exchange.

Here’s a closer look at what some of the biggest news was during last week’s trading period.

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On Wednesday (October 31), the Mexican Supreme Court ruled against the “absolute prohibition” of cannabis for recreational use in two separate cases.

The two new rulings create a precedent that now becomes a standard for other Mexican courts to uphold. In a statement, the Supreme Court confirmed its rulings. However, the court indicated recreational use of cannabis is not an absolute right and would have to be regulated.

In a scrum interview with Mexican newspaper El Universal, the President-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, called for the public to respect the decision from the supreme court.

A new research note from the Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) indicated the total addressable cannabis market for Canadian companies. According to a report from the Financial Post, BMO estimated in seven years a perfect legalization path, including the US and 28 European nations, would produce a market worth C$194 billion.

“We believe current valuations for Canadian LPs are elevated when only the Canadian cannabis opportunity is considered,” the analysts wrote.

The sentiment of the analysts for the US market shows observers of the industry are expecting this potential market to open up soon for Canadian companies to take advantage of.

Marketing group offers support for cannabis businesses

CMA issued a report to help navigate the marketing landscape for cannabis. The report was made available following a warning from Health Canada to seven cannabis licensed producers (LPs) for improper promotion.

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“A fair bit of confusion exists, not only for cannabis companies, but also for suppliers to the industry, from billboards and packaging to the sale of non-cannabis items such as promotional items,” Chris Bolivar, vice president of brand and marketing for cannabis retailer Fire and Flower, said.

The report goes on to indicate the current regulations are still confusing in terms of social media accounts for cannabis companies.

“It is unclear whether the convention of a description on a social media page only requesting followers that are adults is a “reasonable step” to ensure the promotion cannot be accessed by a minor,” the report said.

Market updates

On Thursday (November 1) Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC;TSX:WEED) confirmed the closing of a C$5 billion investment deal from alcohol producer Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ).

The closing confirms the interest Constellation has for the emerging sector. The alcohol company now owns approximately 37 percent of the outstanding common shares of Canopy.

“Now that the capital is Canopy’s to deploy, we’re going to quickly get to work increasing our lead by adding strategic assets around the world,” Canopy’s co-CEO Bruce Linton said in a statement.

GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ:GWPH) made a splash in the market after it obtained approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Epidiolex drug in June. The cannabidiol (CBD) oral solution became the first drug approved by the FDA derived from CBD.

On Thursday, the company confirmed its drug was now available in the US on prescriptions for patients, aged two or older, who have seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome.

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Canadian LP Aphria (NYSE:APHA;TSX:APHA) confirmed that its shares would officially begin trading on the NYSE on Friday (November 2).

“Listing on the NYSE provides Aphria with access to the largest equity market in the world, with increased exposure to a vast array of US institutional and retail investors,”Vic Neufeld, CEO of Aphria, said.

Aphria elected to change its ticker symbol in Toronto to match its new one for the NYSE, “APHA.”

As of 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday, shares of Aphria on the NYSE were up 1.64 percent reaching a price of US$11.61.

With more Canadian producers up-listing to US exchanges, CannTrust Holdings CEO Peter Aceto told BNN Bloomberg on Wednesday the company was having an “ongoing” conversation about a potential listing but still didn’t have anything to confirm.

In a conference call with analysts and investors as part of a Q3 report Mark Hunter, CEO of Molson Coors Brewing (NYSE:TAP;TSX:TPX), indicated the company will be ready to deploy its cannabis infused beverages in 2019.

“We decided as a business that we did not want to be a spectator as this new market opened up and we clearly wanted to be a participant,” the executive said, according to a CTV News report.

Health Canada has said infused items and other novelty cannabis products edibles will become legal following the implementation of the Cannabis Act. The agency has indicated it could legalize them a year following legalization.

The Investing News Network (INN) also shared its monthly update on major events during October in the cannabis sector. Watch the video below for last month’s overview.

Don’t forget to follow us @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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