While Aphria does have specific news that should fundamentally help the company, the moves are generally a continuation of a trend that has been ongoing since the Nov. 3 election.
Canada-based marijuana producer Aphria announced today that it has closed on its previously announced acquisition of U.S. craft brewer SweetWater Brewing Company. But the overall upward trend in marijuana stocks has been due to the potential easing of restrictions the sector may see under a Biden administration.
Pot stocks have gained momentum since the five states that had related ballot initiatives all passed them on Election Day. Prior to the election, during the vice presidential debate on Oct. 7, Kamala Harris said a Biden-Harris administration would "decriminalize marijuana and we will expunge the records of those who have been convicted of marijuana."
Since Election Day, shares of Aphria, HEXO, and Aurora are up between 60% and 140%, though only Aphria shares are in positive territory year to date.
Decriminalization of marijuana in the U.S. is likely still a long way off, even with the support of a Biden administration. But shares of the companies that would reap huge benefits continue to surge in a recovery triggered by the election.
Investors should still focus on the business results of each company. Aurora, for example, has been restructuring its business and raising capital this year as it incurred growing losses. Shareholder dilution, job cuts, and operation consolidation drove the stock down 75% for 2020 prior to Election Day. Last week, however, Aurora announced some positive progress with its first European delivery of medical marijuana directly from its European unit.
HEXO reported that it has seen revenue increase 23% sequentially and 76% year over year in its fiscal fourth quarter ended July 31, 2020. The $500 million market cap company also said it has $184 million in cash as of the end of the quarter.
Aphria's move into the craft brewing market is more significant fundamental news. It says it will use the $300 million acquisition to help expand its addressable market, utilizing SweetWater's U.S. infrastructure "to accelerate Aphria's entry into the U.S. ahead of federal legalization of cannabis to fuel sustainable profitable growth."
That is perhaps the most noteworthy bit of information for investors. But those looking to add pot stocks to their portfolio should consider it a speculative investment until there is much more clarity on the path toward decriminalization or full legalization in the U.S.