Ohio has officially become the latest US state to allow recreational cannabis for adult users.
Meanwhile, a survey conducted by a leading financial research firm suggests that investors feel optimistic that cannabis will be rescheduled in the US. And in Canada, quarterly results show two cannabis producers are seeing some relief.
Read on to learn what else happened in the cannabis space this week.
Ohio legalizes adult-use cannabis
Ohio became the 24th state to legalize adult-use cannabis after a 57 percent majority voted in favor of the change. Ohioans of the age of majority can now legally purchase and carry up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. The legislation also allows adults to grow six plants each at home, with a maximum of 12 per residence where at least two adults reside.
With the Ohio vote confirmed, cannabis is now legal in almost half of US states. The nearby states of Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa are currently the only three states in the midwest that have not yet legalized recreational cannabis, with Iowa being the only state of the three to allow medical cannabidiol products.
However, the results of the vote are not so cut and dry. In the days leading up to the vote, lawmakers urged citizens to vote against the reforms; they were led strongly by Mike DeWine, Ohio’s Republican governor, who has been outspoken about his feelings on cannabis legalization. Senate President Matt Huffman has been equally unbending in his position on the matter and has gone on record saying he would aim to repeal or revise the law if it were to be voted in.
US investors optimistic about cannabis rescheduling
On Wednesday (November 8), ATB Capital Markets released the results of its Cannabis Investor Sentiment Survey, which gathered responses from 23 investors between October 24 and 27. The survey reveals “bullish sentiment” among the respondents, who are optimistic that cannabis will be rescheduled in the US sometime in the next 18 months.
The investors surveyed also put the odds of Congress passing the SAFER Banking Act at 50/50. While the act looked promising when it made its game-changing debut on the Senate floor in September, the appointment of Mike Johnson as House speaker has put its future in jeopardy. Johnson has been clear about his anti-reform stance.
Aurora and Canopy report improved quarterly results
Two Canadian companies, Aurora Cannabis (TSX:ACB,NASDAQ:ACB) and Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED,NASDAQ:CGC), released financial reports this week that show small signs of recovery.
On Thursday (November 9), Aurora announced results for its second fiscal quarter of 2024, which ended on September 30. Its quarterly net revenue rose 30 percent year-on-year, from C$48.6 million to C$63.4 million. The company attributes this rise to an increase in medical cannabis exports thanks to sales growth in Europe and Australia. Aurora’s recent acquisition of plant propagation business Bevo also contributed to the increase.
Canopy Growth reported results for its second fiscal quarter of 2024 the same day. While Canopy is still reporting losses, they are much lower compared to the same period in the previous year. The company points to higher-quality products as the reason for its improved results, and said it plans to introduce more successful US products in Canada.
Snoop Dogg lands deal to release vape products in North America
Snoop Dogg has entered a five year partnership with Hempacco, a subsidiary of Green Globe International (OTC Pink:GGII), and Aspire North America, a subsidiary of vape manufacturing company Ispire (NASDAQ:ISPR).
Under the agreement, the parties will launch a line of cannabis and vape products in the North American market as part of Dogg’s pre-existing Dogg Lbs brand. Dogg Lbs was first introduced in Israel during the summer and included flower, pre-rolls and vapes. The North American line will include hemp, cannabis and nicotine vape products.
Dogg has previously worked with Hempacco on a line of THC gummies under the Dogg Lbs label, as well as other products. Hempacco has been involved with celebrity cannabis enthusiasts like Cheech and Chong and Rick Ross.
Canada and US make moves in psychedelic research
This week also brought news on psychedelic research out of both Canada and the US.
In Canada, the Senate revealed the results of a report examining the use of psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine during a press conference on Wednesday. The findings suggest that psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy could be “transformative” for veterans. These results are not surprising, as numerous studies have produced similar results — they have prompted Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, deputy chair of the Subcommittee on Veteran Affairs, to call on the Canadian government to implement a “major research program” looking at how psychedelic treatments can be used to help Canadian veterans overcome the psychological effects of war, such as PTSD.
“Despite the evidence,” Boisvenu said, “Canada has opted for a wait-and-see approach. The time is now to act.”
Meanwhile, in the US, the National Institutes of Health has committed US$2 million in grant money to develop psychedelic treatments for substance abuse disorders. The agency has plans to distribute the funding to various research projects through 2025. The substances studied will include psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, ketamine and ibogaine.
Grant applications will be accepted between January 28 and February 28, 2024, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse will oversee the program.
Securities Disclosure: I, Meagen Seatter, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.