After the successful Senate vote on cannabis legalization last week, the bill (C-45) received Royal Assent and has now passed the second to last step on its way to becoming a law. Click the link to see our estimate of when marijuana will be truly legal and what is in store for the industry in the future.
The Jamaican government is showing support for medical marijuana, opening a path for the industry to operate in the country. They plan on converting thousands of acres of idle land for the purposes of growing marijuana and reducing restrictions on commercial banks to improve business’ access to capital. Yet another new source of supply to compete with Canada.
The US Senate shot down a new bill that would have protected banks who choose to work with legal marijuana companies from prosecution under federal laws. This is a setback to the maturation of the legal pot market, but more and more banks are opening marijuana company accounts anyway.
Marijuana medicine producer GW Pharmaceuticals may be close to receiving Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its epilepsy drug, Epidiolex. Approval would mark a huge milestone for the acceptance of marijuana as a legitimate medicine and could open the floodgates to more government approvals of marijuana derived treatments.
Aphria subsidiary, ASG Pharma, received the first license to import medical marijuana into Malta. Aphria plans to use Malta as its processing and distribution hub for all of Europe. The Maltese government is salivating over the tax revenue that can come from being a major marijuana hub and as a result, they have opened their arms wide to legal producers who want to locate growing, processing, and packaging facilities on the island.
Canopy Growth’s issuance of $500 million of convertible debt is a signal that the industry may be maturing. The debt carried only a 4.25% interest rate and a conversion price that is 25% out of the money. Lending of this size signals the banking industry is now willing to get involved in the cannabis industry. More debt deals could follow.
In the past two weeks stocks have been on a roller coaster ride with a flood of legalization news coming out of Canada. However, even with all of the positive momentum on legalization, the stocks are only up 0.6% over the period. The market is splitting apart into two groups of stocks, big producers that investors believe in and everyone else. As an example, Canopy Growth the largest producer is up 11% while smaller producers are down 6% over the same period. The market seems to be finally admitting that growing marijuana is a commodity business and only those who create value-added products will survive in coming years.
READ THE MARIJUANA EXPORT MIRAGE FOR AN IN-DEPTH REPORT ON THE STATE OF DEMAND FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA OUTSIDE OF CANADA