Analysts' Comments on Marijuana Stocks After Legalization Announcement

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with Senators Ron Wyden and Cory Booker, on Wednesday released a draft for comment of a proposed Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. The proposed legislation would, among other things, remove cannabis from its listing as a Schedule I dangerous drug and pave the way for more states to legalize the purchase and use of cannabis and related products.

When word of the pending announcement got out late Tuesday, marijuana stocks initially jumped but closed the day with mostly modest gains. Following Wednesday’s announcement, share prices sank and continued sinking all day.

A few analysts were not deterred, however. Piper Sandler, for example:

We continue to believe the US opportunity is significant and that existing US operators are best positioned, and their head start in the US will remain a competitive advantage. Sens. Schumer, Booker, and Wyden unveiled a draft of federal reform that will be open for comments until September 1. We believe it likely aims for too much in its current form to gain passage, but provides a starting point for discussion. Lots of uncertainty on the timing and look of regulatory reform remains, but MSOs [multi-state operators] appear to be able to continue to grow in any US regulatory environment and continue to benefit from incumbent status by building momentum and brands.

Analysts Aaron Grey and Andrew Bond at Alliance Global Partners issued an industry update on Wednesday, saying they were “encouraged to see the long-awaited draft bill …, but remain cautious on the draft bill’s ability to pass  (once the bill is finalized) amid other Federal cannabis bills being considered & how high cannabis ranks among other issues facing the US (particularly as there still appears to be a lack of support from the White House).”

Grey and Bond “continue to see MSOs as representing notable value in various scenarios … whether or not a federal bill is passed.” In a note published in late June, the analysts say that compared to Canada-based marijuana companies, U.S.-based MSOs (most of which currently trade over the counter) “are in a clear position to perform well regardless of potential changes at the federal level.”

Based on a 2022 enterprise value-to-EBITDA multiple of 12.3 times, Alliance Global’s top five MSOs offer “an attractive entry point with limited dilution risk at lower stock levels given positive OCF [operating cash flow] and bolstered balance sheets following a number of raises earlier this year.”

Here’s a look at how five U.S.-traded cannabis firms, all based in Canada, have traded over the past two days and how they were faring early Thursday morning.

Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) gave back nearly all its Tuesday gain of nearly 11%, closing down 10.2% on Wednesday at $2.64. Shares traded up about 3.1% early Thursday, at $2.72 in a 52-week range of $1.01 to $6.45. Organigram is not expected to post a profit in calendar year 2022.

Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) closed at $15.01 on Wednesday, down 8%, after posting a Tuesday gain of around 0.5%. The stock traded at around $15.20 Thursday morning, up about 1.2%, in a 52-week range of $4.41 to $67.00. Tilray’s consensus EV/EBITDA multiple for 2022 is 69.8 times.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NASDAQ: ACB) posted a Tuesday gain of about 0.5% and closed down 10.3% on Wednesday at $7.51. Early Thursday, shares traded at $7.68, up 2.2%, in a range of $3.71 to $18.98. Aurora Cannabis is not expected to post a profit in 2022.

Canopy Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: CGC) closed at $20.66 on Wednesday, down 6.7%, after posting a loss of about 0.5% on Tuesday. The stock traded down less than 1% Thursday morning to $20.62, in a 52-week range of $13.83 to $56.50. Canopy Growth is not expected to post a profit in 2022.

Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) shares dropped 5.4% to close at $7.67 on Wednesday, after closing with a gain of about 0.9% on Tuesday. Shares traded up less than 1% Thursday morning, at $7.74 in a 52-week range of $4.91 to $15.83. Cronos is not expected to report a profit in 2022.