The Prime Minister Elect’s plan to legalize cannabis has some investors expecting that the nascent medical marijuana industry will be given huge opportunity for expansion.
Shares of Canopy Growth Corp. (formally Tweed) traded upwards of 21 per cent higher than Monday levels, while Leamington, ON based Aphria Inc.’s shares climbed 11 per cent and Mettrum Health Corp. jumped 18 per cent at one point of trading.
“Trudeau’s vow to legalize and regulate marijuana the ‘right way’ has set in motion the single most important catalyst for the marijuana space,” said Dundee Capital Markets analyst Aaron Salz.
Canopy Growth Corp. CEO Bruce Linton said his company is already positioned to take advantage of legalization as he expected Liberal regulation to benefit existing producers.
“That means they have to get it from a known and controlled supply chain,” said Linton. “We’ve got the engine running nicely now.”
“I think what you’ll see perhaps, after this election … is a recognition that there is an opportunity to collect taxes on something that is already being sold into the market illegally or illicitly.”
Since Oct. 13, Canopy Growth’s stock has shot up nearly 30 per cent.
The Liberal position during the campaign stated their support for legalization, without describing a specific plan of implementation.
“If we pass smart laws that tax and strictly regulate marijuana, we can better protect our kids, while preventing millions of dollars from going into the pockets of criminal organizations and street gangs,” their platform read.
Investment specialist Peter Clausi expected the Liberals to shortly amend the Criminal Code and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to allow for decriminalization of cannabis, along with continuing to distribute MMPR licenses to applicants and expanding the range of cannabis products able to be produced and sold under those licenses.
“This will generate additional tax revenue to the feds and the provinces,” Clausi wrote. “Full-time jobs will be created. There will also be less government money spent on street level policing for marijuana, and a clearing of the backlog in the criminal justice system.”
“Financially, all of that is good for Canadians and the dollar.”
Clausi said the growth of the cannabis industry will be driven forward by a decision in the Allard case. A current injunction allows Canadians with a personal production licence, under the government’s previous MMAR system, to continue growing their own medical cannabis, and not purchasing from the licensed producers like Canopy Growth.
The Harper government created the licensed producer sector in April, 2014 when it created rules that restricted medical patients to buy only from government sanctioned producers. The new rules were followed by a rush of applicants setting up licensed cannabis production operations. Currently, 26 are authorized, with a number of others still in the application process with Health Canada.
As the industry develops, Clausi expected certain producers to become dominant, while others fall away.
Earlier this morning, Canadian Cannabis Corp. announced plans to acquire Gatineau based Hydropothecary for $21.3 million.
“We are at the end of marijuana prohibition,” wrote Clausi. “The Allard decision will go a long way to determining who the winners will be, but the Liberal majority ensures that there will be winners.”