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Cannabis stock report: Congress agrees on new farm bill legislation, CBD industry readies to explode

By Brandon A. Dorfman
Nov 30, 2018

The North American Marijuana Index dipped back downwards on Thursday as volatility in the cannabis stock market prevailed despite Congressional leaders coming together to hammer out the final details of a federal farm bill that includes hemp legalization. Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts told Politico that he hopes to bring the bill to a floor vote within the next four or five days once the Congressional Budget Office scores it.

"We've been piecemealing things that we have agreed on," Roberts told POLITICO on Thursday. "Now we have an agreement, so we're going through the scoring and language. It just takes time. ... We're going to try to do this in four or five days if we can do it. They're working 24/7."

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A major victory for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the bill is expected to have far-reaching ramifications to the hemp and CBD industry across the country. Although the 2014 version of the bill opened the door for the CBD industry in its current form, this new bill will cast away any lingering doubts about the compounds legality.

“If there’s a Farm Bill, [the hemp provision] will be in there,” McConnell told reporters earlier this month. “I guarantee you that.”

Still, not everyone can prosper from the new hemp economy. The bill contains a catch-22 that many see as a continuation of the racial injustices brought on by the war on drugs. Anyone with a drug-related felony is banned from participating in the hemp industry for life.

“It’s a broad prohibition,” said Daniel Shortt, a Seattle-based attorney in an interview with Quartz. “Any felony related to a controlled substance will disqualify a ton of people from participating in this industry.”

The sad irony is that many of these people were convicted of selling marijuana in the first place.

The Index fell 3.30 points, or 1.29 percent on Thursday to close out the day at 252.68, with the United States Marijuana Index breaking even at 109.69 and the Canadian Index falling 16.49 points, or 2.98 percent to end the day at 537.72.

[Cannabis stock report: Marijuana stocks bounce back following a pep talk from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell]

The Horizon’s Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (HMMJ.TO) fell CA$0.31 ($0.23) per share, or 1.74 percent, finishing Thursday at CA$17.46 ($13.13), while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ) dropped $0.48 per share, a decline of 1.61 percent, ending the day at $29.29.

Trade talks on everyone’s mind

Stocks fell on Thursday following their Fed-fueled rally the day before as investors anxiously waited to see what would happen in talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The two are expected to speak at this weekend’s G-20 summit, though even the best experts can’t predict what will happen.

"Some people are going to be hedging positions to protect themselves from the downside if there is no positive conclusion from those talks," Chris Larkin, Senior Vice President of Trading at E*Trade said in an interview with TheStreet. "People are making strategic decisions for a short period of time using the options market."

[New Democratic majority to usher in a wave of cannabis reform when new Congress is seated in January]

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27 points on Thursday or 0.1 percent to end the day at 25,339, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.22 percent, and the Nasdaq fell 0.25 percent.

Cannabis downgrades Constellation Brands

Macquarie Capital analyst Caroline Levy leveled a small blow at beverage maker and cannabis investors Constellation Brands this week because of their investment in Canadian Licensed Producer Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE:CGC). The analyst lowered the target price from $245 to $210, citing concerns over the investment, according to Barron’s.

“We have tempered our view of the Canadian cannabis market,” Levy wrote in her assessment. “Brand building will be costly and unpredictable… It thus seems difficult to see any near-term profits for Canopy and possibly subpar returns for many years.”

MedMen’s sees profits up, losses up more

The so-called Apple store of weed MedMen Enterprises Inc. (MMNFF) announced its first-quarter fiscal year 2019 financial results on Thursday, reporting losses of $12.5 million, or $1.42 a share. They did bring in revenues of $21.5 million, an increase from $1.8 million the previous year. Still, the company did not release per-share earnings figures for the period. However, it is becoming clear that high-end weed may not have the market that many expected it would.

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“Our first quarter performance underlines the successful execution of our growth strategy and ongoing commitment to provide mainstream cannabis consumers a wide breadth of products for their lifestyle and wellness needs,” said Adam Bierman, MedMen chief executive and co-founder in a statement. “Our four-pillars strategy – built around a quality team, superior assets, strong balance sheet and the ability to efficiently and effectively raise and deploy capital – has set us up to successfully achieve our vision. We are now entering a new phase focused on fully operationalizing our vast footprint.”

Who’s up and who’s down

CV Sciences Inc. (CVSI) gained $0.40 per share, an increase of 8.89 percent to end the day at $4.90… KushCo Holdings Inc (KSHB) climbed $0.31 per share, or 5.60 percent to $5.85… HEXO Corp. (HEXO:CA) jumped up $0.23 per share, an increase of 3.92 percent to finish the day at $6.10.

Sunniva Inc. (SNN:CNX)fell $0.76 per share, a decline of 15.87 percent to end the day at $4.03… Golden Leaf Holdings Ltd. (GLH:CNX) fell $0.015 per share, or 9.37 percent to $0.145… Wayland Group (WAYL:CNX) dropped $0.12 per share, a decrease of 8.33 percent to
$1.32.

Harvest One Cannabis has a respectable first quarter

According to Director of Investor Relations Colin Clancy, the company’s CA$1.67 million ($1.26 million) in revenue, which was a 900 percent increase over the same period last year was due to its consumer products division Dream Water Global, along with recreational cannabis sales in British Columbia.

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