Marijuana News Today
Cronos Group Inc (NASDAQ:CRON) is up big following an upgrade from a major bank while professional sports are beginning to take a serious look at weed in the marijuana news today.
On the sports side of things, you have two major North American sport organizations, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL), looking into marijuana and its potential applications for athletes.
The NFL is the more gung-ho of the two when it comes to marijuana, announcing that it was studying the drug as a possible pain management tool for its players. (Source: “NFL Agrees To Study Marijuana As Pain Management Tool,” The Fresh Toast, May 23, 2019.)
Considering all the negative press the NFL has received over the years due to its perceived disregard of its players and their health, if marijuana were to step in and serve as an effective pain medication, that would help solve a lot of problems for the league.
The NBA, meanwhile, is a little more reluctant to come out one way or another on pot, only saying that it was going to see how the drug was affecting players and consider the reason that players were partaking in the first place. (Source: “NBA commissioner on basketball players using marijuana: ‘It’s a complicated issue’,” The GrowthOp, June 5, 2019.)
It’s worth noting that the NBA doesn’t have nearly the same stigma surrounding it when it comes to player injury that the NFL has. Concussions in football has been a powder keg topic for years now. The league hasn’t been able to come up with a satisfying solution in the eyes of many fans and players, which makes its pursuit of marijuana as potential remedy more pressing.
What this means for marijuana stocks, however, is that their product is gaining wide-ranging acceptance.
These are athletes that need to maintain peak physical condition, after all, so if pot is fine for them it stands to reason that it would be fine for the layman. So if major sports leagues are beginning to relax their position on pot, it will only help support the push for legalization in the U.S.
Furthermore, if marijuana can be slotted in as a potential pain reliever, that would be a massive boon to the medical marijuana industry.
Consider that the opioid epidemic continues to be a major issue facing the U.S. (and much of the world) and if an alternative painkiller could come out and replace the highly addictive drug family, many would be elated.
Marijuana has the potential to do just that. While studies would have to be carried out, the early results are that marijuana is very effective as a pain reliever, while also being low risk for addiction. That combination could make it a wonder drug when it comes to supplanting the dangerous and deadly opioids.
Not to mention that it would be great press for pot were it to come in and eradicate the opioid epidemic while providing a safe way to fight pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other ailments.
And were that to be the case, marijuana sales would naturally rise as the drug became the go-to pain reliever. If these sports organizations help lead that charge, that would greatly improve the prospects of marijuana being seen as a remedy for pain.
The other major story in the marijuana news today has to do with Cronos Group Inc and its huge jump in early morning trading.
CRON stock climbed seven percent to start the day. That number is made all the more impressive when you look across the industry and see most pot stocks having fallen one or two percent. Cronos stock’s huge jump today helped correct a poor showing last week, putting the company at a one-percent gain over the past five days.
The boost came by way of Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BOA), which gave the company a two-notch upgrade following Chief Executive Officer Mike Gorenstein claiming on Tuesday that Cronos Group would be “aggressive” regarding a U.S. cannabidiol (CBD) launch.
Speaking at a luncheon hosted by the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY), Gorenstein added that he’s not talking “that long of a way out” regarding the company’s entry into the U.S. market. These comments resulted in analyst Christopher Carey boosting his rating on the stock from “underperform” to “buy.” (Source: “Cronos Rises On Analyst Upgrade Following ‘Aggressive’ CBD Expansion,“ Bloomberg, June 5, 2019.)
The analyst said that Cronos Group had a solid avenue for entry into the U.S. market through its partnership with Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO), which he wrote in a research note was the “key to winning the U.S.”
Gorenstein explained that Cronos Group could leverage Altira’s U.S. presence (it’s in 230,000 stores) to launch its own products. “The potential to scale distribution nationally via Altria separates Cronos vs peers,” he wrote.
Due to U.S. CBD being virtually legal at this point, it makes sense why analysts would be giddy over the company’s entry into the market.
After all, Canada is still a relatively small market and marijuana legalization is at least a few years off for the U.S.; the industry needs something to help keep the buzz going.
CBD in the U.S. could be a huge aid in that regard, and we’re seeing that play out with CRON stock’s huge leap.
In contrast to Cronos Group, we have the majority of marijuana stocks that have taken a dip in early morning trading today. One such company is Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY).
Tilray fell almost two percent in early morning trading. Tilray stock is down over 11% over the past five days.
At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if the continuing downward trend for Tilray Inc persists until the company closes below $30.0.
I don’t see TLRY stock making a speedy recovery anytime soon, especially considering the industry is facing its first real challenge in 2019 as May proved to be a tough month for many pot stocks.
Tilray has a long way to go before it regains my confidence.
CRON and TLRY Stock Performances
The performances of CRON stock (black line) and TLRY stock (blue line) over the past week are seen on the chart below:
Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com
The marijuana news today has some stellar news for the future prospects of pot.
As pain reliever, sports could be a huge spearhead in that fight, perhaps helping to push the drug as a new pain medication of choice in the U.S. This would mean a huge increase in medical marijuana sales, and that in turn would be a dramatic boost for pot stocks.
Cronos Group Inc, meanwhile, is looking to target the U.S. CBD market, and as such is reaping the rewards following an analyst upgrade from Wall Street. While these gains likely won’t go on for more than day or so, it’s still great news for marijuana bulls.
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