Cannabis Stock Report: Marijuana Stocks Close Mixed As Sessions Supports Cannabis Research

The North American Marijuana Index fell flat on Wednesday, as pot stocks closed mixed following news of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ openness to medical marijuana research. Sessions, known for his opposition to cannabis, told a key Senate panel on Wednesday that not only does he believe medical marijuana may have benefits, but that it should be researched as well. Still, the head of the Justice Department continues to doubt findings that cannabis may aid in dealing with the opioid epidemic, stating he doesn’t “believe that will be sustained in the long run.” The Index fell 1.70 points, or 0.69 percent, to close out the day at 245.86.

The United States Marijuana Index rose 0.42 points, an increase of 0.48 percent to close out the day at 88.51, while the Canadian Marijuana Index fell 9.98 points, or 1.58 percent, ending the day at 621.33.   

Wall Street pulled out a mixed win on Wednesday despite investor worries over U.S. bond yields that continue to rise as well as growing corporate costs. Adding to the positive numbers, around 31 percent of the S&P 500 companies have reported earnings so far, with the bulk of those meeting or beating consensus estimates. Thomson Reuters data shows that analysts expect growth of 22 percent for the first quarter.

Still, some experts remain trepidatious about the market’s future. "Investors are aware that the tax cuts have certainly boosted earnings and they have also seen an increase in top line growth," said Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group in an interview with Reuters.

"But we are a bit long in the tooth with respect to this cycle. Interest rates are also moving higher. And at some point there is a question how much longer this economic expansion can continue to grow."

In a CJS Approps Subcmte hearing I raised the conflicts between state & federal marijuana law, asking AG Jeff Sessions for assurances that the Department of Justice will act as an ally, rather than an obstacle, in considering future legislation respecting states’ rights. pic.twitter.com/UvFiTaW2Sg

— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) April 25, 2018

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 59.7 points, or 0.25 percent, to end the day at 24,083.83, while the S&P 500 rose 4.84 points, an increase of 0.18 percent, to close out Wednesday at 2,639.4. Finally, the Nasdaq Composite fell 3.62 points, or 0.05 percent, to end the day at 7,003.74.

The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (HMMJ.TO) fell CAD$0.26 per share, a loss of 1.59 percent to close out the day at CAD$16.14 per share, while the Evolve Marijuana ETF (SEED.TO) fell CAD$0.28 per share, or 1.65 percent, to end the day at CAD$16.66 per share.

Hiku Brands and WeedMD Merge

They might not be the ‘27 Yankees, but last week’s announcement from Hiku Brands Company Ltd. (CSE:HIKU) and WeedMD Inc. (TSX-V:WMD) (OTC:WDDMF) that the two companies had agreed to merge brings together a couple of cannabis powerhouses. According to a statement, shareholders of  Hiku and WeedMD will own approximately 51.75 percent and 48.25 percent of the new entity, respectively, which will be listed on the TSX-Venture. The deal gives the newly formed company four indoor and greenhouse growing facilities with a capacity that will exceed 56,000 kg by the middle of 2019.

"Our vision at Hiku has always been that cannabis is a consumer product – in which brands, retail and customer experience will ultimately win," said Alan Gertner, Chief Executive Officer of Hiku in a statement. "The combination of Hiku and WeedMD creates a cannabis company capable of fulfilling the vision of delivering the best in class experiences from in-store to product, from medical to adult-use, but also capturing full retail and wholesale margins. Our combined offerings create a company that is insulated from potential wholesale margin compression and is ready to scale its offering globally."

Quick Hits

Naturally Splendid Enterprises Ltd. (TSX-V:NSP) (OTCQB:NSPDF) acquired organic hemp processor Absorbent Concepts Inc…  Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZYNE) announced new clinical trial data… Kaya Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB:KAYS) opened its fourth marijuana dispensary in Oregon.

California Weed Faces Challenges

According to a report from CNBC News, legal marijuana sales are lagging in California. Watch the full report below:

 

*Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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