What happened

Friday began on a high note for marijuana stocks, as investment bank Jefferies announced it was turning around its opinion of Tilray (TLRY) stock 180 degrees, upgrading the shares from underperform all the way to buy.

Tilray stock responded as you'd expect, surging 17% in morning trading, but other marijuana stocks are responding positively as well. As of 11 a.m. EDT, Canopy Growth (CGC -0.28%) stock is up a strong 6%, HEXO (HEXO) is even better at 7%, and Aurora Cannabis (ACB 0.35%) is best of all with a 7.5% gain. But why is good news for Tilray good news for these rival cannabis companies, too?

Close-up of a crop of marijuana plants

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Well, begin with the analyst comments on Tilray. According to the Jefferies note, which was covered on StreetInsider.com this morning, Tilray is "a clear leader in the Canadian market" and boasts a better growth profile than almost any other cannabis company in Canada, with added optionality in the event of marijuana legalization in the United States and an "attractive positioning to capture an EU upside."

And Europe may be a bigger part of this story than many investors yet think -- for Tilray, but also for Canopy, Aurora, and HEXO, too -- because the market there "is now picking up," notes Jefferies. According to the analyst, Germany alone accounts for 70% of Tilray's European sales. And there's also reason to be optimistic about France. As Marijuana Moment has reported, the French National Assembly just released "a multi-party parliamentary report ... advocating for marijuana legalization," and there's even talk of a national referendum that might approve legalization on a national scale.  

Now what

Meanwhile, here in the U.S., the movement to legalize marijuana at the state level continues apace. Over the past 24 hours alone, the Kansas state House of Representatives just passed a bill to legalize medical marijuana by a 79-42 vote, and that bill is now heading to the Kansas Senate. And in Alabama, a 20-9 state Senate vote in favor of legalizing medical marijuana was just followed up by a 68-34 House vote in favor -- and that bill is now off to the governor for signing.    

The way things are going at the state level, it seems inevitable that marijuana will eventually become legal at the federal level as well -- throughout the United States, but not only in the United States. No wonder marijuana investors are happy today.