On Thursday, a key development sparked headlines across the country that should have significant, long-term implications for marijuana stocks. For a change of pace, President Donald Trump finally achieved bipartisan consensus, and in turn, made rational sense. Of course, most people are keyed in on a specific component of the recently passed farm bill. After Congress approved the $867 million measure aimed at supporting the agricultural industry, Trump signed it into law. The bulk of the farm bill has nothing to do with marijuana stocks, yet the law opens a critical pathway: Hemp is now fully legal.
This is the most significant marijuana news outside of prior electoral victories. Indeed, it could pioneer a radical paradigm shift for the burgeoning cannabis industry. For starters, federal restrictions against hemp, a non-psychoactive form of cannabis, have been removed. That means businesses can transport hemp across state lines.
More importantly, hemp now falls under the Department of Agriculture, as opposed to the Controlled Substances Act. A practical benefit to this somewhat granular transition is that hemp-growers can seek crop insurance for this plant. Essentially, the farm bill now allows traditional farmers to jump onboard this cannabis subsegment.
Considering this breakthrough, marijuana firms have undeniably become the best stocks to buy. A fundamental headwind that clouded the sector was federal oversight and limitations. The farm bill proved that despite significant challenges, the government can no longer ignore marijuana’s economic potential.
Most significantly, legalization is reaching universal acceptance. Previously, only Democrats and independents voiced their support. But this year, notable conservatives, including former House Speaker John Boehner and former Republican National Chairman Michael Steele, have forwarded the legalization narrative.
With that, here are the best pot stocks to buy to advantage the marijuana-business boom:
Marijuana Stocks to Ride the Farm Bill: Canopy Growth (CGC)
Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) became one of the more well-known names among marijuana stocks after alcoholic-beverage maker Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) invested heavily into the Canadian cannabis firm. But since its October highs, CGC stock has suffered sharp losses, worrying even the most ardent bulls.
A key limitation that has dogged Canopy was U.S. federal law. But with the latest farm bill, CGC is among the best stocks to buy for forward-looking speculators. Its leadership team stated that it will now “participate in the American market.” Furthermore, Canopy CEO Bruce Linton declared the new law is a “transformative piece of legislation” that will boost our economy.
The news couldn’t have come at a better time. On Thursday’s close, CGC stock extended its losing streak to dangerous levels. But after-hours trading lifted shares nearly 5%.
Marijuana Stocks to Ride the Farm Bill: Aurora Cannabis (ACB)
We all know that marijuana stocks are incredibly volatile. But even with this backdrop, Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) has absorbed a shocking level of bearishness over a short span. In mid-October, ACB stock closed at nearly $12. Shares ended the Thursday session at $5.10.
Although the volatility could still continue due to broader market weakness, the Street responded positively to ACB during extended hours. Like other Canadian marijuana stocks, Aurora benefits from favorable legislation in its home country. However, its southern neighbor represents the ultimate goldmine. The farm bill opens a viable growth channel.
Moreover, ACB stock isn’t just limited to advantaging American tailwinds. Recently, the company acquired Mexican raw-materials importer Farmacias Magistrales. Magistrales is so far the only company in Mexico that can import materials containing THC.
ACB also has operations in Colombia and Uruguay, providing the organization with substantial international leverage.
Marijuana Stocks to Ride the Farm Bill: Cronos Group (CRON)
Cronos Group (NYSE:CRON) is another well-known commodity among marijuana stocks that have recently disappointed shareholders. After soaring to new heights following Canada’s legalization initiative, CRON stock quickly tumbled. Aside from a decent pop following our midterm elections, shares have steadily slipped southbound.
But the farm bill boosted CRON during after-hours trading, eventually gaining close to 5%. But this immediate lift will likely be a blip in the bigger picture. Thanks to Cronos Group’s partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks, CRON represents one of the best stocks to buy at this juncture. That’s because Ginkgo specializes in extracting specific strains of the cannabis plant.
Should the Cronos-Ginkgo partnership produce economically-practical strains, CRON offers a competitive advantage against its rivals. Furthermore, the farm bill decisively opens the door for management to pursue other opportunities within the sector.
Marijuana Stocks to Ride the Farm Bill: Tilray (TLRY)
Despite its youth as a publicly-traded entity, Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) quickly gained both fame and notoriety. Shortly after its initial public offering, TLRY stock skyrocketed to unimaginable heights. However, it just as quickly transitioned from one of the best stocks to buy to a worrying laggard.
Still, TLRY distinguished itself from other marijuana stocks, closing up into double-digit territory on the Thursday session. Tilray has an obvious farm bill tailwind in that the U.S. government granted the company cannabis-exporting authorization for medical research. Now, TLRY can explore additional opportunities while strengthening its medical-marijuana credentials.
Plus, Tilray is a dealmaker. A day before the farm bill announcement, TLRY signed a research partnership with Anheuser Busch Inbev (NYSE:BUD). The two are exploring CBD and THC-infused drinks. As THC produces a psychoactive response, the venture is currently limited to Canada. But the Trump administration’s willingness to loosen restrictive marijuana laws bodes well for possible expansion.
Marijuana Stocks to Ride the Farm Bill: GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH)
GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) suffers from a double-whammy. First, GWPH stock is technically a pharmaceutical investment. That sector hasn’t done well this year in part because advancing technologies have resulted in fewer diseases to treat. Second, GWPH also counts itself among marijuana stocks, which have recently produced ugly results.
Nevertheless, the farm bill provides fundamental tailwinds for GW Pharmaceuticals. Although the company isn’t specifically a hemp-grower, the new law potentially loosens federal oversight. For instance, any medicinal product containing cannabis must meet FDA approval before crossing interstate lines. But with the political momentum, the FDA and other federal agencies will likely seek more efficient protocols.
This represents a huge sentiment boost for GWPH stock. Unfortunately, we’re not seeing it reflected in the markets, making this a risky proposition. However, a longer-term approach could dramatically benefit speculators.
Marijuana Stocks to Ride the Farm Bill: CV Sciences (CVSI)
As with rival GW Pharmaceuticals, CV Sciences (OTCMKTS:CVSI) finds itself in the hot seat. Although CVSI stock is one of the standout winners in the markets this year, shares have gone sideways recently. The holding pattern is worrisome because both pharmaceuticals and marijuana stocks have become wildly unpredictable.
That said, for the risk-tolerant speculator, CVSI presents one of the best stocks to buy amid the farm bill announcement. Along with potentially favorable legislation down the line, CV Sciences produces a popular hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil. The recently-signed law now gives CVSI greater retail coverage.
At the same time, I can understand investors’ hesitation towards the cannabis firm. In late summer of this year, Citron Research blasted CVSI for not disclosing rejected patent requests. CV Sciences objected to the accusation, stating that a patent rejection isn’t a finalized declaration.
One thing I can say is this: CVSI stock has absorbed that controversy so it’s likely baked in at this point.
Marijuana Stocks to Ride the Farm Bill: Emerald Health Therapeutics (EMHTF)
Generally speaking, if you got into marijuana stocks earlier this year, you’re likely doing well despite the nearer-term selloff. However, Emerald Health Therapeutics (OTCMKTS:EMHTF) offers a glimpse into the other side of the tracks. On a year-to-date basis, EMHTF stock is down over 61%.
Even more troubling, the markets continue to show no love whatsoever for Emerald Health. On the Thursday session, EMHTF closed down 11%. Admittedly, though, the company doesn’t deserve a bullish response. Canadian legalization hasn’t offered a panacea for smaller cannabis players, in part due to the country’s smaller market.
But the farm bill opens up the very real possibility for global cannabis sales. Emerald Health features a vast portfolio of medicinal and recreational THC and CBD products. If management can leverage this newfound opportunity, EMHTF stock has explosive growth potential.
Marijuana Stocks to Ride the Farm Bill: Charlotte’s Web (CWBHF)
I’m going to give Charlotte’s Web (OTCMKTS:CWBHF) a lot of credit. When you research marijuana stocks, you’ll find plenty of euphemistic marketing. But Charlotte’s Web takes it to a whole new level. Reading their homepage literature, you’ll swear that CWBHF specializes in charity and philanthropy.
But in all seriousness, Charlotte’s Web has a substantial advantage in the hemp retail sector. Offering a library of delectable (or so I’ve been told) hemp-based CBD products, CWBHF is in prime position to benefit from the farm bill. In other marijuana stocks, the new law’s impact is either indirect or speculative. Here, it provides a direct catalyst.
However, please bear in mind that CWBHF stock is an unproven commodity. Since debuting over-the-counter on September 12, 2018, shares are down over 22%. Nevertheless, I still like Charlotte’s potential to break open the hemp retail market.
Marijuana Stocks to Ride the Farm Bill: Aphria (APHA)
The latest favorable legislation provides downtrodden marijuana stocks a critical lifeline. Within the sector, few names have suffered as badly as Aphria (NYSE:APHA). Since the end of November, APHA stock has dropped a shocking 34%.
However, the severe decline isn’t undeserved. As our own Chris Lau explained, management acquired cannabis firm Nuuvera at a very costly price. Furthermore, another InvestorPlace contributor, Will Healy, cited Hindenburg Research’s accusation that APHA is a shell game. Allegedly, Aphria insiders struck deals to benefit them personally.
Even if the accusations lack merit, APHA is not going to end up as one of the best stocks to buy anytime soon. However, I should note that short-sellers have constantly targeted cannabis firms undoubtedly because it’s easy to shake weak-handed investors. In addition, legislative and electoral momentum may create what Healy terms a “green rush” in America.
If so, look for APHA stock to jump significantly higher. If not, things can get very ugly, very quickly.
Marijuana Stocks to Ride the Farm Bill: Hemp (HEMP)
You’d think that with a company name like Hemp (OTCMKTS:HEMP), its shares would fly through the roof. After all, the farm bill’s language specifically loosens hemp regulations. And yes, HEMP stock has responded positively in the days leading up to Trump signing the bill into law.
However, HEMP has been all over the map. On Thursday, shares lost more than 10% of its market value, which initially appears counterintuitive. The company leads in industrial-hemp production, featuring bi-coastal processing centers. Additionally, experts predict that this subsegment will achieve international sales of $20 billion over the next four years.
So what’s the problem? Namely, Hemp’s financials trouble prospective buyers. In its most recent quarter, management reported a net loss of $14.5 million against sales of $160,000. At this point, HEMP stock is a pure gamble. But due to the farm bill, it’s not entirely an irrational one.
As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.