What happened

The stock market is finally recovering from a rather steep sell-off this morning, as we move into midday trading. Helping to lead the recovery, believe it or not, are cannabis stocks: As of 2:10 p.m. ET on Monday, both Curaleaf Holdings (CURLF -0.25%) and Canopy Growth (CGC -1.66%) shares were up 5.6%, and tiny Aurora Cannabis (ACB -0.87%) had a 7.5% gain.

So what

As pot-news website MarijuanaMoment.net reports today, President Joe Biden will attend the Labor Day Parade in Pittsburgh on Monday. While he's there, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (who's running to become the next senator from the state) plans to try to convince President Biden of the need to decriminalize marijuana on the federal level.

But despite campaigning on a policy of decriminalizing marijuana, President Biden has been reluctant to throw his support behind full-scale legalization since winning office. A bill to legalize marijuana was introduced in the Senate in July, and there's been little progress in passing it. Six pro-marijuana senators sent the president a letter in July urging him to change his position.  

I doubt the advice from a Senate candidate is going to move President Biden on this issue.

Now what

But even full-scale marijuana legalization wouldn't necessarily mean marijuana profits for investors, or at least not soon. In Canada, where pot has been legal for years, Canopy Growth and Aurora Cannabis are still losing money. In the U.S., Curaleaf is losing money, too. According to analysts polled by S&P Global Market Intelligence, it will be 2026 before Canopy or Aurora see their first profits from legal weed.

The situation seems a bit better for Curaleaf, though. As the pathway toward legalization gets clearer, analysts forecast that Curaleaf could earn its first-ever adjusted profit as early as this year, and by 2025 might turn profitable on the basis of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) as well. That makes the prospects for Curaleaf a bit brighter than those for its Canadian peers.

I don't place a lot of confidence in adjusted profit numbers, but beggars can't be choosers. If you're going to bet on a stock to profit from legalization, Curaleaf might be your best bet.