Share prices of most large publicly traded marijuana stocks dropped Wednesday, in a range of a modest 0.4% for Aphria Inc. (NASDAQ: APHA) to nearly 10% for Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB). It looked like a bloodbath was about to begin and an opportunity to “buy the dip” was opening up.
That opportunity may have closed already. Shares of the major players have added 7% to as much as 20% in Thursday’s premarket trading. Aurora Cannabis traded up by nearly 20%, Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) traded more than 15% higher, Aphria traded up about 13% and Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) and Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE: CGC) traded up around 7%.
Voters in five states on Tuesday approved ballot measures to allow the sale of marijuana either for recreational or medicinal use. Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota all approved measures to allow the sale of recreational weed. South Dakota and Mississippi also approved measures to allow the sale of medical marijuana.
As of Wednesday’s close, Canopy Growth may be the best performer of the bunch over the past 12 months, down just over 3.6%, while Aphria is down about 4.2%. Aurora’s share price has plunged by nearly 90%, while Tilray is down by 72% and Cronos is down by nearly a third.
Since the bloodbath in cannabis stocks began in late 2018, Aurora’s stock is down nearly 95%, Tilray is down almost 94%, Aphria has dropped by 57%, Canopy Growth has tumbled by nearly 50% and Cronos has fallen by 28%.
Here’s a look at how these five stocks look now.
Aurora is trading at 90% below its 52-week high and 161% below its consensus price target.
Aphria trades about 23% below its 52-week high and 140% below its price target.
Canopy Growth trades at around 27% below its 52-week high and 94% below its price target.
Cronos trades at 38% below its 52-week high and 86% below its price target.
Tilray is trading 75% below its 52-week high and nearly 130% below its price target.
Will any of the four states that approved recreational marijuana sales make a difference? The largest by population is New Jersey, with 8.9 million people. Now, is it likely that neighboring states New York (19.5 million) and Pennsylvania (12.8 million) are going to sit on the sidelines much longer? Neither state has legalized recreational marijuana, but it shouldn’t be too long before the states’ legislatures recognize that they are contributing considerable tax revenue to New Jersey.
As if to underscore the point, Aphria on Wednesday announced that it is acquiring craft brewer SW Brewing, a maker of Sweetwater 420 products, brews that “use terpenes and natural hemp flavors that, when combined with select hops, emulate the flavors and aromas of popular cannabis strains.” It is just a small step to dosing the brews with the real thing. SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale and IPA are already available on both domestic and international Delta Air Lines’ flights.
One way to look at cannabis stocks is that they’re so far down that anything looks like up. At the same time, presidential front-runner Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris have both indicated they favor removing marijuana from the country’s list of prohibited drugs. If they eventually win and follow through on their stated positions, the pot business could see a burst of share price growth.
Thursday morning, Aurora traded up about 18.6%, at $5.25 in a 52-week range of $3.71 to $45.84. The consensus price target on the stock is around $7.15.
Aphria shares traded up about 5.2% to $5.23, in a 52-week range of $1.95 to $6.44 and with a price target of $6.95.
Canopy Growth shares traded up about 5.3%, at $20.00 in a 52-week range of $9.00 to $25.97. The consensus target is $17.90.
Cronos stock traded up 7.0% to $5.93, in a 52-week range of $4.00 to $9.00 and with a price target of $4.79.
Tilray stock traded up about 18.8%, at $7.13 in a 52-week range of $2.43 to $24.10. The consensus price target is $7.77.