Stock prices in several cannabis companies were up significantly Tuesday morning as voters headed to the polls with legal marijuana on the ballot in four states. The legalization of recreational marijuana is being decided in Michigan and North Dakota, and voters in Utah and Missouri will be asked to approve the medicinal use of cannabis.
Analysts Predict Success
Currently, 31 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico have medical or recreational cannabis legalization statutes on the books. On Monday, CB1 Capital Management founding partner Todd Harrison said that he believed that Tuesday’s election results would illustrate the increased acceptance of cannabis among voters in the United States.
“We think what we’ll see tomorrow is going to speak volumes about the American appetite for getting their hands on God’s medicine. We think Michigan in particular will tell a broader tale in terms of what it could portend for U.S. legislation,” said Harrison.
Canaccord analyst Bobby Burleson said in a research note that this year’s election will continue the trend of support for legal cannabis in the United States.
“We believe this year’s midterms will reinforce the notion that cannabis in the U.S. has (passed) the tipping point on its way to eventual full legal status,” Burleson said.
Canada Leads the Way
When the recreational use and sale of cannabis was legalized in Canada last month, Jon Trauben, managing partner at cannabis venture capital firm Altitude Investment Management, said the country would serve as a model for marijuana investment.
“We believe that the legalization in Canada offers a road map to invest in the companies that will form the basis of the legal cannabis industry in the coming years,” said Trauben.
Stock prices for Canadian cannabis companies were up sharply on the midterm election day in the United States.
Shares in Canadian medical marijuana cultivator and processor Cronos Group were up 8 percent on the Nasdaq exchange Tuesday morning. Another Canadian medical marijuana firm, Canopy Growth, was up 7 percent in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Tilray, a producer of medical marijuana products in Canada in Europe, saw more modest gains of about 5 percent in Nasdaq trading. Shares in Aphria, also a Canadian medicinal cannabis producer, were up a similar amount on the New York Stock Exchange. Aurora cannabis saw the smallest spike in share prices among major cannabis players on election day, with stocks up more than 3 percent.
Four States Voting on Cannabis
In Michigan, voters are expected to approve Proposal 1, an initiative that would legalize the recreational use and sale of cannabis and also allow the cultivation and processing of industrial hemp in the state. In North Dakota, polls are mixed on the likelihood of success for a grassroots ballot measure that would place no limits on cannabis possession as well as legalize commercial sales without establishing a regulatory framework.
Voters in Missouri have multiple chances to vote on cannabis legalization, with three separate medical marijuana measures on the ballot in the Show-Me State. Early support for a medical marijuana initiative in Utah has waned after legislators announced they would enact medicinal cannabis legislation in a special session after reaching a compromise with some medical marijuana advocates.