The Week In Cannabis: MORE Act Passes, UN Vote, Joe Rogan,, Aphria, Canopy And Earnings

It was a historic week for cannabis.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the MORE Act, a piece of legislation that could effectively decriminalize marijuana on a federal level. The bill will now head towards the Senate, where results remain uncertain.

“The US House of Representatives—the people’s house—has taken a giant step towards science, reason and justice,” cannabis activist and entrepreneur Steve DeAngelo said to Benzinga. 

Before that, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs removed cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had recommended all forms of THC to be removed from the drug convention of 1961, placing it with cannabis in Schedule 1, the least restrictive classification by UN standards. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical cannabis medications would be placed in Schedule 3.

Most industry voices believe that current Republican control of the upper chamber means doom for any cannabis legalization bill. However, upcoming Senate runoffs in Georgia could shift the balance of power in the Senate at the beginning of January, showing light at the end of the tunnel for cannabis reform initiatives.

While the passage of the MORE Act by the House stands as an unprecedented milestone in the history of cannabis reform, a number activists and industry people have criticized the bill’s current version for its inability to bring restorative justice to those most affected by cannabis prohibition.

ETFs fell on Tuesday but recuperated the lost ground since. Over the five trading days of the week:

  • The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE: MJ): gained 3.4%
  • The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE: YOLO): was up 2.5%
  • The Cannabis ETF (NYSE: THCX): advanced 5.7%
  • The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE: CNBS): rose 2.7%
  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) was up 1.45%.

On Monday, Bank of America analysts Bryan Spillane and Lisa Lewandowski had issued an analyst note focusing on Canopy Growth (NASDAQ: CGC). Explaining that potential changes to the U.S. federal law on cannabis bode well for the overall cannabis sector, and especially for Canopy Growth as it would enable the Smiths Falls, Canada-based company to expand its activities in the U.S.

Consequently, they raised the price target on Canopy stock from CA$30 ($27.06) to CA$42 ($32.37) based upon ~19x CY21e EV/sales, and maintained ‘Buy’ rating on it.

Aphria Inc. (TSX: APHA) (NASDAQ: APHA) entered the U.S. market after finalizing its purchase of SweetWater Brewing Company for $300 million. The Ontario-based cannabis company detailed a few strategic and economic advantages that could come up from this deal, with the most important one being the simple and fast access to the U.S. market in case of federal legalization.

Sanity Group, a Berlin-based CBD and medical cannabis company, raised $4.8 million in venture capital. The round included investments from Black Eyed Peas founding member, actress Alyssa Milano, German soccer player Mario Goetze and model Stefanie Giesinger. Earlier this year, Benzinga reported the closing of Sanity Group’s Series A funding of $22 million, the largest cannabis funding round in Europe to date.

Comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan is launching a new CBD beverage in partnership with an energy drink company Kill Cliff. Flaming Joe is a spicy jalapeño pineapple combination containing 25 milligrams of CBD, coming from 125 milligrams of broad-spectrum hemp, B-vitamins, electrolytes, and plant extracts.

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