Cannabis Weekly Round-Up: US Political Moves Take Investors on Wild Ride
US cannabis reform hit another snag this week, but industry insiders are still hopeful that the end of the year will bring progress.
Investors' hopes for a cannabis Christmas miracle in US banking reform took a hit this week.
Market participants have been eagerly watching the Senate's lame duck session, but the progress of the SAFE Banking Act and other legislation stalled once again after failing to make it into a defense package.
Keep reading to find out more cannabis highlights from the past five days.
US running out of time for 2022 cannabis reform
Cannabis stocks kicked off the week full of excitement and enthusiasm after US President Joe Biden signed the first piece of federal cannabis legislation into law; it relates to permissions for research purposes.
The move from Biden fueled the dream that banking reform in the country could happen before the current session of Congress comes to an end. An Axios article explains that the hope was for Democrat leaders to attach these changes to "must-pass year-end bills" — mainly the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
However a catastrophic end was reached when Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell slammed the Democrats' strategy.
McConnell told reporters his opposing colleagues were “still obstructing efforts to close out the NDAA by trying to jam in unrelated items with no relationship whatsoever to defense.” The Republican senator said he wasn’t interested in turning the NDAA into an opportunity to make “the financial system more sympathetic to illegal drugs.”
In terms of the Democrats' timing, McConnell added the following attack on the party's plans for cannabis reform:
“If Democrats wanted these controversial items so badly, they had two years to move them across the floor,” he said, according to Marijuana Moment. “Heck, they could have scheduled those matters for votes this week. But no, we’re doing more mid-level nominations while Democrats keep threatening to take our Armed Forces hostage over those extraneous matters.”
While the chance for cannabis reform isn't completely dead, time is running out, and doom-and-gloom scenarios are settling in. According to Politico, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act could be passed, but it's not certain.
“Democrats left this until the last minute ... and the chances that the Senate can find any floor time for a standalone SAFE 'plus' package before the end of the year are slim,” the news outlet states.
Republican Senator Steve Daines said SAFE could potentially make it through before the end of the year with an omnibus bill, a piece of legislation related to critical government funding that is also being discussed in Congress.
All of this political movement has had its fair share of impact on the cannabis stock market. While investors saw optimism permeate the industry earlier in the week, that sentiment quickly changed.
Over the past five trading days, the AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (ARCA:MSOS) has declined in value by over 25 percent. On Friday (December 9), the fund opened with a price point of US$10.05.
Cannabis company news
- Jushi Holdings (CSE:JUSH,OTCQX:JUSHF)closed a private offering worth approximately US$69 million. The cannabis operator said it has used the proceeds to repurchase and redeem 10 percent of its existing senior secured notes, as well as to pay some pending fees and expenses.
- HEXO (NASDAQ:HEXO,TSX:HEXO)confirmed the C$40.14 million repayment of the total outstanding principal amount of its 8 percent unsecured convertible debentures, issued on December 5, 2019.
- Columbia Care (NEO:CCHW,CSE:CCHW,OTCQX:CCHWF)released its first corporate social responsibility report for investors to review. “I am so proud of the tremendous work our teams have put in across the country to make a difference not only in the cannabis industry but also in the local communities where we operate,” Nicholas Vita, CEO and co-founder of Columbia Care, said.
- Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQ:ACB,TSX:ACB)repurchased about C$102.5 million of its convertible senior notes for C$99.4 million, including accrued interest. The company now has around C$148 million worth of outstanding notes. According to Aurora, this move was done in order to reduce its debt and annual cash interest costs.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.