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News For The Weed-Kend: An Update On Marijuana Business And Policy

News For The Weed-Kend: An Update On Marijuana Business And Policy - J P Morgan Chase & Co NYSE:JPM, Scotts Miracle-Gro Company The NYSE:SMG

Friday is finally here, and media outlets are buzzing with marijuana news. From the DEA rumored to be on the brink of rescheduling the plant to coverage of candidates' positions on pot, weed news is growing like, well, weeds. So, let’s take a look into some of the most relevant marijuana news from this week.

Growth Stocks

Shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro Co SMG 0.26% gained almost 8 percent this week, after JPMorgan analyst Jeffrey Zekauskas upgraded the stock from Neutral to Overweight, boosting his target price from $70 to $85. The expert cited the tremendous growth in marijuana demand. Last year, sanctioned weed sales rose to $1.2 billion, more than triple the figure seen in 2014. But, what does pot have to do with this company that neither produces nor sells it?

The lawn and garden supplier recently acquired a few businesses involved in hydroponics, a soil-less method to grow marijuana. “The hydroponics market taps into marijuana demand and the company now has a growth option that we think an investor is able to capture for about the price of the traditional business,” JPMorgan’s report read.

Shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro are up more than 23 percent year-to-date.

Seed Money

Another Colorado-based marijuana-related startup made it to the headlines this week. The company in question is Baker Technologies Inc., a firm that helps marijuana dispensaries gain new clients, increase customer loyalty and make their businesses more efficient. According to media reports, the company managed to raise $1.6 million in seed money for its software.

“Buddy Media’s Michael Lazerow led the round joined by Base Ventures, XG Ventures, 500 Startups, Poseidon Asset Management and the co-founders of Superfly, the organizers behind music festivals like Outside Lands and Bonnaroo, among others,” TechCrunch said.

An Expanding List

On November 8, five states will not only be voting for the next U.S. president, but also for or against the legalization of recreational marijuana. So far, only Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington allow the use of Mary Jane for leisure. But this could change in a few months, as voters in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada will soon decide on the issue.

Moreover, on that same date, four more states, Arkansas, Florida, Montana and Missouri, will chose if medical uses of marijuana are okay.

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Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no interest in any of the securities or entities mentioned above.

DateFirmActionFromTo
Jul 2016Keefe Bruyette & WoodsMaintainsOutperform
Jul 2016BerenbergInitiates Coverage onSell
May 2016Keefe Bruyette & WoodsMaintainsOutperform

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