Shares of Cronos Group (CRON -2.88%) jumped 9.3% as of 3:48 p.m. EST on Tuesday and traded as much as 16.1% higher earlier in the day. Cronos didn't have any news, so why did its stock perform so well? One potential reason could be investors' anticipation of good news for the marijuana industry with the U.S. elections under way today.
Of the biggest Canadian marijuana stocks, Cronos, enjoyed the largest gain on Tuesday, followed by Canopy Growth. Why did these two stocks outperform the others? Possibly because both companies have tight connections with the U.S.
Canopy's connection is obvious -- it's partly owned by Constellation Brands. The U.S. connection for Cronos Group isn't quite as transparent. Cronos formed a joint venture with U.S.-based Ginkgo Bioworks in September to develop cultured, high-purity cannabinoids from engineered strains of yeast. It also partnered with U.S.-based MedMen Enterprises to launch retail cannabis stores in Canada.
In addition, there are some key investor ties between Cronos and U.S. marijuana companies. Gotham Green Partners owns a significant stake in Cronos Group, with the private equity fund's founder and managing partner, Jason Adler, sitting on Cronos' board of directors. Gotham Green also holds a significant position in MedMen as well as another U.S. cannabis company, iAnthus Capital Holdings.
What does all of this mean? The U.S. elections could increase the likelihood that federal marijuana laws will be changed to legitimize the cannabis industry in the country. If that happens, the web of relationships involving Cronos Group and U.S. companies could conceivably help pave the way for Cronos to be a first mover in entering the huge U.S. marijuana market.
Granted, all of this speculation didn't really justify hundreds of millions of dollars being added to Cronos Group's market cap. But these kinds of swings based on investors' hopes aren't unusual for Cronos, or any of its peers.
The more important thing for investors to watch with Cronos now is the company's performance in Canada. Cronos is scheduled to provide a quarterly update on Nov. 13. Management comments on how the launch of the recreational market in Canada has gone will be more useful than how the company performed in the last quarter.
It will be interesting to see how the U.S. elections turn out, though. They could result in improved chances for Cronos Group (and others) to enter the U.S. market. But don't expect any big changes to happen quickly.