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Pot company CEO expects American market to open up

The head of a big publicly traded pot company said he's preparing for potential changes that will make his p...

Posted: Sep 21, 2018 7:08 PM
Updated: Sep 21, 2018 7:08 PM

The head of a big publicly traded pot company said he's preparing for potential changes that will make his products available in America.

Cannabis is still illegal in the United States under federal law, even though a number of states have legalized marijuana. But Bruce Linton, the co-founder and CEO of Canopy Growth, told CNN's Julia Chatterley on the First Move show Friday that he thinks some of the laws prohibiting marijuana could soon be relaxed.

"Republicans have had a strong history of supporting state rights," Linton told Chatterley.

Linton said he believes federal regulators could decide it's okay for pot to be legal in states like California and Massachusetts that have already approved the sale and possession of small amounts of marijuana. They could leave in place a broader federal ban.

"If they did that, it would be good for me," Linton said.

Pot's illegality hasn't stopped American companies from getting involved in the business.

Shares of Canopy Growth have soared since Corona owner Constellation Brands said last month it was spending $4 billion to boost its stake in the company.

Constellation first invested in Canopy Growth last year, when it bought a 10% stake The company upped its holding in Canopy last month to 38%, and it has the option to purchase a majority controlling share of more than 50%. The two companies plan on developing cannabis-based beverages for countries where that is legal.

Canopy is one of several pot stocks that have been on a tear in the past few months. Tilray and Cronos have both surged because investors are betting on a big boost in sales as Canada's legalization of recreational marijuana draws closer.

Shares of tiny New Age Beverages, a maker of trendy Kombucha drinks, has soared more than 300% in the past five days -- including an 80% pop Thursday -- after the company said last month it would debut CBD infused drinks. CBD is cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis.

Even DavidsTea -- a Montreal-based company -- has gotten caught up in the pot frenzy. Shares surged 12% Thursday on speculation that it could make a play for the marijuana market.

But New Age Beverages, DavidsTea and Tilray plunged Friday as some investors fear that the pot stock craze could be a bubble. Canopy and Cronos also took a hit Friday.

Still, more big beverage companies -- and even drug makers -- may invest in cannabis as a result of the Constellation-Canopy deal. That could make the pot stocks a better long-term bet.

Tilray's CEO suggested on CNBC that cannabis made sense as a hedge for beverage makers and pharmaceutical firms. Another Canadian pot company, Aurora Cannabis, has surged this week on speculation it could do a deal with Coca-Cola.

Canopy's Linton agreed the major drug companies and beverage producers must have a cannabis strategy. He argued these industries can't ignore pot, and Constellation is ahead of the curve.

But he warned that the United States is "still a no fly zone" for marijuana sales as long as it remains federally illegal.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 263023

Reported Deaths: 5752
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17675191
Hinds16813331
Harrison14224204
Rankin11167219
Jackson10839190
Lee9050144
Madison8568168
Jones6668114
Forrest6177124
Lauderdale6097192
Lowndes5518120
Lafayette516298
Lamar503965
Washington4923125
Bolivar4104109
Oktibbeha405982
Panola384881
Pontotoc376258
Warren3674103
Monroe3671108
Union355663
Marshall355270
Neshoba3485154
Pearl River3468105
Leflore3111109
Lincoln305688
Hancock291862
Sunflower291475
Tate279662
Alcorn272354
Pike268981
Itawamba268063
Scott259648
Yazoo255256
Prentiss252553
Tippah249250
Copiah249049
Coahoma248054
Simpson242171
Leake237367
Grenada223272
Marion222073
Covington219973
Adams213671
Wayne212634
Winston207371
George204339
Newton199046
Attala196963
Tishomingo194161
Chickasaw189044
Jasper179538
Holmes171768
Clay165837
Tallahatchie156235
Stone151425
Clarke147262
Calhoun140822
Smith129226
Yalobusha122034
Walthall114337
Greene113529
Noxubee112926
Montgomery111636
Carroll106622
Lawrence106517
Perry104531
Amite101426
Webster96124
Tunica88821
Claiborne88325
Jefferson Davis88329
Benton85623
Humphreys84624
Kemper80520
Quitman7089
Franklin69917
Choctaw63213
Wilkinson59825
Jefferson56821
Sharkey45117
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 439442

Reported Deaths: 6657
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson644371007
Mobile31435569
Madison28158217
Tuscaloosa21492275
Montgomery19873332
Shelby19248132
Baldwin17128189
Lee13137107
Morgan12594142
Etowah12070181
Calhoun11496206
Marshall10420123
Houston8988164
Limestone832081
Cullman8257124
Elmore8183110
DeKalb7871107
Lauderdale7847107
St. Clair7808130
Talladega6445112
Walker6028183
Jackson599145
Colbert548694
Blount546286
Autauga535862
Coffee460764
Dale409685
Franklin374150
Russell354215
Chilton344373
Covington338580
Escambia334544
Tallapoosa3143109
Dallas312996
Chambers303470
Clarke298036
Pike262431
Lawrence253355
Marion253161
Winston233342
Bibb222348
Geneva210247
Marengo208231
Pickens199531
Hale184944
Barbour180538
Fayette177829
Butler173160
Cherokee165131
Henry159525
Monroe152021
Randolph145536
Washington141727
Clay129746
Crenshaw123745
Macon121937
Cleburne121525
Lamar119922
Lowndes114836
Wilcox107922
Bullock103328
Perry99918
Conecuh97822
Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63418
Choctaw51924
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