What happened

Thursday wasn't a good day to be an investor in multi-state operator (MSO) Curaleaf Holdings (CURLF -4.18%). There was no company-specific news driving folks away from the cannabis stock, but rather several pieces of discouraging news on the legalization front did it in. At the end of the day, Curaleaf's share price had fallen by over 3%.

So what

One major reason for the struggles of the global marijuana industry is that legalization has not spread widely or quickly enough. In the U.S., for example, despite widespread public support for federal legislation, it has only been effected on a piecemeal, state-by-state basis. But even that is further than most countries have gone with the drug.

On Thursday, pot investors received indications that legalization both at home and abroad might proceed sluggishly, at best. The U.K. government nixed a pending law in Bermuda that would have legalized the island nation's sale and consumption of marijuana. Governor Rena Lalgie, the top U.K. government official in the country, said she was blocking the measure on instructions from the British foreign secretary.

And on our shores, in Missouri, a new court case challenging that state's proposed Amendment 3 sanctioning recreational marijuana was scheduled to begin in a Cole County Circuit courthouse. An entity called the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America has brought the suit essentially on the grounds that the measure was pushed through improperly.

Now what

Neither setback is enough to torpedo the marijuana industry entirely, but both are indicative of the resistance that continues to push against recreational legalization. Making marijuana legal here and abroad will continue to be a difficult, fitful process -- not great news for dispensary operators like Curaleaf.