What happened

Marijuana stocks HEXO (NASDAQ:HEXO), Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQ:ACB), and Aphria (NASDAQ:APHA) are up 3.3%, 3.9%, and 4.1%, respectively, as of Monday at 11:20 a.m. EST. Leading the pack even higher is cannabis kingpin Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC) with a 5.1% gain.

Unsurprisingly, I think Canopy Growth is the reason why all marijuana stocks are rising today.

Marijuana plants

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Oh, there's other news to report. For example, the AP reported over the weekend that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is pushing to legalize marijuana for recreational use in the commonwealth -- which would make it the first southern state to do so. But the bigger news is that, in an interview published Friday by Bloomberg, Canopy Growth CEO David Klein predicted that Canopy will be selling marijuana in the U.S. within a year.  

"What we really need is some combination of SAFE Banking ... and a reclassification by the executive branch, all of which ... probably happens in the next six-to-eight months," Klein said. "We're pretty confident we'll be operating in the U.S. a year from now."

Now what

He could be right about that, too. Already, 15 states have already or are in the process of drafting legislation to officially implement legal recreational pot use in the U.S., and 36 more have legalized medical marijuana -- so clearly the movement has broad support among voters.  

In Washington, D.C., the House and Senate will both be controlled by the Democratic Party this year, as will the White House -- and the Biden administration has explicitly promised to "decriminalize marijuana, and ... expunge the records of those who have been convicted of marijuana." Indeed, it was Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who would cast any tiebreaking votes in the Senate, who made that promise.

As Bloomberg noted, legalization at the federal level "would open the door for Canadian companies like Canopy Growth, Aphria Inc. and Aurora Cannabis Inc. to enter the U.S. market." Investors today are betting that 2021 will be the year that this happens.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.