Cannabis stocks continued their rollercoaster summer this week as The North American Marijuana Index fell 1.44 points to 111.86, disappointing investors after such a banner day yesterday to start the week. It was bad news all around as both indices in the US and Canada fell. The United States Marijuana Index dropped 0.49 points to 53,04 while The Canadian Marijuana Index tumbled down 3.85 points to 198.19.
And as investors were nursing their wounds on Tuesday, hemp farmers on the front lines continued to lament their issues with the Food and Drug Administration. According to a new report out in the Lexington Herald-Leader, what was once a promising crop for Kentucky back in 2018, when Congress passed, and President Trump signed the Farm Bill, has turned into chaos and uncertainty. As the Leader put it, the FDA is trying to kill the hemp industry.
“Twenty months on, no one would describe the hemp industry as “certain” or “predictable,” wrote the Leader. “The price of hemp has plummeted 70-85 percent since May as long-anticipated food supplement regulation has failed to arrive from the Food and Drug Administration. This despite Congress’s clear intent to make hemp-derived products fully legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.”
The Leader continued to note that 92 percent of hemp crops in Kentucky are grown for cannabidiol or CBD, and yet leading extractors are being forced to file for Chapter 11. Some of those filing for bankruptcy have expressly noted the fact that CBD is stuck in a “regulatory purgatory” by the FDA.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles wrote a letter to the Kentucky federal delegation stating, “the bureaucratic paralysis…is hurting this new space in Kentucky agriculture.” He continued by saying, “we are going to have a lot of hemp without a market to sell it in, and many farmers will struggle financially in part to the bureaucratic inaction in Washington, D.C.”
The Farm Bill was supposed to be a legislative win for Mitch McConnell, who was trying to help out former tobacco farmers in his home state who had been losing economically. But instead of creating a burgeoning hemp and CBD industry, the federal government seems to be stuck in its old ways and determined to see the hemp industry fail. As the Leader noted, while hemp has many uses, CBD is the one that is the true worthy successor to tobacco. And while the US can’t come up with a serious regulatory framework, countries like the UK have already done so, putting the US behind in the CBD arms race.
Cannabis stock winners and losers
Delta 9 Cannabis Inc.(DN:CA) gained $0.05 per share up to $0.58 for an increase of 9.43 percent. C21 Investments Inc. (CXXIF) rose $0.06092 per share up to $0.7609, a gain of 8.70 percent. MedMen Enterprises Inc. (MMNFF) jumped up $0.01755 per share to $0.22, a gain of 8.67 percent.
TILT Holdings Inc. (TLLTF) fell $0.0344 per share down to $0.32 for a loss of 9.71 percent. Columbia Care, Inc. (CCHWF) dropped $0.37 per share down to $3.63, a decrease of 9.25 percent. Sundial Growers Inc. (SNDL) lost $0.028 per share down to $0.312 for a decline of 8.24 percent.
New cannabis ETF focused on US companies
On Tuesday, AdvisorShares announced the AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (MSOS) will begin trading tomorrow, September 2, 2020. According to a statement released today, it’s the first cannabis ETF dedicated solely to US cannabis companies, including multi-state operators. AdvisorShares also runs the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (YOLO).
“We are pleased to offer MSOS in addition to YOLO which we believe responds further to meeting investors’ demands for more U.S. cannabis investment exposure,” said Dan Ahrens, AdvisorShares chief operating officer, in a statement. “We believe that the U.S. clearly represents the most attractive opportunity for cannabis investment and remains an exponentially larger market than the Canadian cannabis market. We feel strongly that our active portfolio management serves as the most advantageous way to invest in the emerging cannabis space.”
In other news…
According to a report in the Portland Press Herald, 38 applicants are in competition for a mere 20 licenses to own and operate dispensaries in the city. Although City Council developed a scoring matrix to see who would be awarded a license, a court recently declared it unconstitutional. So, it’s up in the air how things will be decided.
A group trying to put recreational cannabis on the ballot in Oklahoma this November has abandoned their efforts, saying it’s too difficult to collect the necessary signatures while COVID-19 rages on. “We have been put in a position of choosing between attempting to give Oklahomans an opportunity to adopt critical marijuana and criminal justice law reforms or protecting the health of ourselves and our fellow Oklahomans,” ballot initiative co-backer Ryan Kiesel told The Oklahoman, according to MJBizDaily.
Everyone is excited that the House will be voting to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act this month. But don’t be, because the Senate will ignore their efforts.