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Aphria Thinks the US Cannabis Market Could Hit $50 Billion

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Jan. 4 2019, Updated 8:54 a.m. ET

Aphria on the US market size

Aphria’s (APHA) new chairman of the board, Irwin D. Simon, thinks that the US cannabis market could hit $50 billion if all of the states make cannabis legal. While the US has legalized hemp at the federal level, Canadian cannabis companies have already set their sights on the US hemp market. However, hemp doesn’t have the same potency as mainstream cannabis, which contains THC and CBD.

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Volatility in the cannabis sector

The cannabis industry saw ups and downs. In 2018, only a handful of stocks ended higher. To learn more about Tilray (TLRY), read Why Tilray Rose Nearly 300% in 2018. The above chart compares the volatility of the cannabis sector ETF (MJ) with other sectors including technology, materials, consumer discretionary, and utilities. The cannabis sector was less volatile in 2018 compared to the tech and consumer discretionary sector.

The cannabis sector’s valuations ended much lower in the last few weeks of 2018 than the rest of the year, which indicates that investors might have written off the cannabis industry as a whole. Read Which Cannabis Stocks Look Cheap in December? to learn about cannabis stocks’ recent valuations including Canopy Growth (WEED) and Cronos Group (CRON).

While investors’ sentiment turned negative, which could have also been prompted by the broader weakness in the market, we’re compelled to rationalize whether cannabis stocks are going up in smoke or whether this is the calm before the storm.

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