U.S. Cannabis Stocks Rocket After Election

American voters have sent U.S. cannabis stock prices surging. The November 3, 2020, general election saw electorates in Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, South Dakota, and Mississippi opting to expand legal sales of regulated cannabis in their states.

The anticipated increase in size of the legal marijuana market caused by expanding regulated cannabis sales in those five states has in turn fueled the boost in cannabis stock prices.

Established American cannabis companies such as Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth and Cresco Labs have enjoyed a jump in share prices between 24% and 75% through November 2020. This cannabis stock growth spurt has far outstripped the Standard and Poor 500 index, which is up a healthy, but far less robust, 11% through the same month.

What Does The Stock Market Rise Mean for Cannabis?

November’s post-election surge in U.S. cannabis industry stock prices has impressed the analysts at the NASDAQ securities exchange market. Responding to the rise in legal marijuana industry valuations, a full-page headline on the NASDAQ website declares, “Yes, U.S. Marijuana Stocks Will Benefit From the Latest Legalization Moves.”

The NASDAQ feature proclaims Election Day 2020 a “resounding success” for legalized marijuana sales and predicted that the election results “will certainly be a boon for the marijuana industry as a whole.”

How precisely that boon will play out and spread throughout the legal marijuana industry is still open to speculation. For example, the post-2020 election boost in cannabis industry stock prices has not removed all risk of loss for potential investors in cannabis industry shares.

Even taking into account their steep November stock price spikes, shares in U.S. cannabis industry heavyweights such as Aurora, MedMen Enterprises and Tilray have lost more than 60 % of value this year.

Motley Fool contributor Eric Volkman told the NASDAQ blog that he believes the bulk, perhaps all, of the American legal-cannabis industry brands that operate in multiple states are sitting pretty to profit from state balloting initiatives or federal moves to expand legal cannabis markets. However, Volkman cautions, “This is an extremely early stage. I don’t think you can identify any particular company that would benefit more than others.”

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Multi-State Operators Set To Benefit

Volkman and other legal cannabis market analysts base their general optimism for steadily rising, stable legal cannabis industry valuations, particularly among multi-state operators, on projections that America’s legal cannabis markets will only continue to grow over the next ten years.

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia, as of November 2020, have regulated legal adult-use marijuana markets. Various forms of legal medical cannabis products are regulated and sold in 36 states.

Legal cannabis provider Curaleaf illustrates the advantages of being a multi-state operator. An AP report in the Spokane Spokesman-Review points out that Curaleaf legal cannabis products are marketed in 23 states. It’s no coincidence that Curaleaf’s revenue, which benefited from opening dispensaries in Florida, increased by 300 % over its third-quarter take in 2019.

Curaleaf, though operating its legal-cannabis commerce in 23 states, is based in Wakefield, Massachusetts. The company’s stock price has risen 55% through 11 months of 2020. Curaleaf’s price rise doesn’t necessarily mean every medical cannabis advocate should crack open the cookie jar and invest that rainy day nest egg in Curaleaf or any other high flying cannabis industry stock offering.

Certainly, the outlook for continued legalization spread and corresponding cannabis industry stability is very positive. The AP reports that Cowen investment banking, a leading financial institution specializing in the cannabis sector, has done a post-2020 election review of its forecast of a $31 billion American market for legal cannabis products by 2025. Upon review, Cowen boosted that legal-cannabis market forecast up to $34 billion.

Morningstar Research, a firm that evaluates investment potential of a range of industries including legal cannabis production and distribution, is more optimistic than Cowen. By Morningstar’s calculations and projections, adult-use legal marijuana sales are headed to $70 billion annually, with an additional $15 billion in revenues piling on from medical-cannabis products.

Limits On The Cannabis Industry

One key to reaching that $85 billion in annual revenues from legal marijuana is establishing regulated legal cannabis production and marketing at the federal level. As long as cannabis products remain illegal at the overriding federal level, despite legal cannabis sales being regulated on a state-by-state basis, legal cannabis producers are faced with hurdles to success, such as access to banking services, that most American industries do not face.

The United States House of Representatives has drafted a SAFE Banking Act that would lower some of the barriers separating legal cannabis industry operators from access to banking services.

Playing the legal cannabis stock market is not for every legal cannabis advocate. Speculating in cannabis industry shares is perhaps best left to cannabis advocates who have proven experience in general stock market speculation.

Still, the average legal cannabis advocate can find encouragement in a healthy, optimistic and well-funded legal-cannabis investor base. A robust cannabis industry will increase momentum for spreading legalization of cannabis products and services.

Conversely, the increased momentum of cannabis legalization spreading state to state is creating a healthier, more optimistic, better-funded investor base for the legal cannabis industry.

Any time legal cannabis industry shares hit a winning streak everyone’s a winner. Where else can you say that?

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Written by
Allan MacDonell
Allan MacDonell

Allan MacDonell’s work has been featured in publications ranging from Dazed and Confused UK to the New York Times and Washington Post. He is the author of Prisoner of X, Punk Elegies and Now That I Am Gone, and was a founding editorial director at online outlets including Buzznet, TakePart and Kindland. MacDonell views teaming with Leafwell as an opportunity to encourage the emerging role of legal cannabis as a highly effective medical treatment.

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