What happened

Last week, Kamala Harris pledged that if elected, the Biden administration would decriminalize marijuana. Many weed stocks popped on that pronouncement.

That was then; this is now. Marijuana stocks had an awful Thursday. Bellwether Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) declined by 5.5% on the day, HEXO (NYSE:HEXO) slipped 3.5%, and cannabidiol (CBD) specialist Charlotte's Web Holdings (OTC:CWBHF) won that three-horse race to the bottom with a 7.5% slide.

Hand holding a burning marijuana cigarette.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The bad guy in this story is their peer, Canadian producer and supplier Aphria (NASDAQ:APHA). Before market open, Aphria published its results for the first quarter of fiscal 2021.

As is habitual in corporate marijuana, Aphria booked a net loss, although that was actually a bit narrower than analyst estimates.

The problem was revenue, which fell short of projections and was down on a sequential basis. Aphria said the culprit was the coronavirus pandemic, which dampened the market for any unrelated health need, such as medical marijuana. This had a deleterious effect on its distribution revenue.

Now what

Aphria's poor showing is about the 50th stark illustration of the woes of the cannabis industry. It remains burdened by many albatrosses, including the strength of competing black-market product, supply challenges, and regulatory inconsistencies -- even in 100% legalized Canada, the home not only of Aphria, but also Aurora and HEXO (Charlotte's Web is based in Colorado).

Marijuana stock investors are a hardy bunch, but many find these frequent reminders of struggle dismaying. Their patience might be wearing thin.