Cannabis stock report: Pot stocks hang on as PA Gov. Wolf calls for recreational legalization to shore up COVID-19 budget shortfalls

There was some better news for cannabis stock investors on Tuesday as The North American Marijuana Index held steady, gaining 0.45 points to inch up to 109.54. The United States Marijuana Index saw minimal gains, rising 0.64 points to 51.61 while up north in Canada, investors weren’t as lucky. The Canadian Marijuana Index fell 3.72 points down to 198.76.

Back in the states, however, local governors continued to push for the legalization of recreational cannabis. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf led the way on Tuesday, calling on lawmakers to legalize recreational cannabis for commercial purposes as a way to make up for the many budget shortfalls caused by COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn. As MJBizDaily reported, with the hard-working legislature of Pennsylvania only having 11 more days in-session between now and the November election, legalization is most likely a long-shot for 2020.

Marijuana Index

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has been a vocal supporter of recreational legalization since taking office. He went on a county-by-county listening tour of the state and found the bulk of Pennsylvanians support cannabis legalization as well.

“Marijuana prohibition is a truly minority viewpoint in Pa.,” said Lt. Governor Fetterman, according to KDKA CBS local 2 in Pittsburgh earlier this summer. “A significant majority of Pennsylvania are for legalization and I would just ask anyone who’s not – it’s like, well, you sure don’t want to pay more in taxes.”

“There’s already a thriving marijuana market in Pa. Why not make it legal, why not make it safe and why not make it taxable to help Pa. get back on its feet?” he continued.

Wolf’s push for legalization was part of a statement released by his office, summarizing potential efforts on how to combat COVI-19 and the resulting economic downturn. It was part of his fall legislative agenda that including hazard pay for frontline workers, grants and loans for small businesses, and a proposed alcohol tax cancelation to help the hospitality and tourism industry.

“The governor is calling on the legislature to legalize recreational marijuana with the proceeds going to existing small business grant funding,” noted the governor’s statement. “Fifty percent of the funding would be earmarked for historically disadvantaged businesses. Along with the call to the General Assembly to pass legislation legalizing the sale and use of recreational marijuana, the governor proposes that a portion of the revenue be used to further restorative justice programs that give priority to repairing the harm done to crime victims and communities as a result of marijuana criminalization.”

“Also, the governor wants the General Assembly to pursue criminal justice reform policies that restore justice for individuals convicted of marijuana-related offenses,” the statement continued.

Cannabis stock winners and losers for Tuesday

C21 Investments Inc (CXXIF) rose $0.08628 per share up to $0.6493 a gain of 15.33 percent. Acreage Holdings (ACRGF) gained $0.22 per share up to $2.90, an increase of 8.21 percent. cbdMD Inc. (YCBD) rose $0.15 per share up to $2.88 an increase of 5.49 percent.

Meta Growth Corp. (META:CA) fell $0.015 per share down to $0.125 for a loss of 10.71 percent. Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. (FAF:CA) fell $0.06 per share down to $0.84, a decrease of 6.67 percent. Zenabis Global Inc. (ZENA:CA) dropped $0.005 per share down to $0.095 for a loss of 5.00 percent. 

Ascend Wellness goes to the Windy City

Multi-state cannabis operator Ascend Wellness entered into an agreement that will see the company acquire two well-known dispensaries, a couple of popular Chicago neighborhoods – Logan Square and River North. According to a statement, they raised $68 million to purchase the MOCA or Modern Cannabis dispensaries once approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

“AWH is a great fit for us,” said MOCA founder Danny Marks in a statement. “They have a clear, focused strategy and a nimble, ambitious team. Of the several partnerships we considered, AWH made the most sense for us in terms of their state and national size, growth trajectory, and company culture,” 

In other cannabis news…

Although the United States has about 30 percent more medical cannabis markets than recreational ones, recreational sales are about to eclipse medical sales, according to MJBizDaily. Recreational sales will top $10 billion in 2020, while medical sales will cap out at no more than $7 billion.

The Republican National Convention kicked off with more digs at the Democrats about cannabis. Natalie Harp, an advisory board member for the President Trump’s reelection campaign, told the audience that “Democrats love to talk about health care being a human right, but a right to what?” She responded with, “Well, I’ll tell you. To them, it’s a right to marijuana, opioids and the right to die with dignity.”

California is still arresting people for cannabis. This time, a 57-year-old was arrested after the power company tipped off authorities. He was found with 800 plants in his home. So much for legalization out West.

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