Beacon Securities analyst Doug Cooper gave an update on the US cannabis sector on Monday, where things are heating up in the state of Florida, as legalization proponents are facing off against Attorney General Ashley Moody who has made her opposition known.
In the populous state of Florida, where medical-use marijuana is a major market for cannabis companies, a campaign by Smart & Safe Florida aim at legalizing adult-use cannabis has collected over one million raw signatures and triggered a Florida Supreme Court review on the way to ensuring a spot on the November 2024 ballot for the issue.
Attorney General Moody was due on Monday to bring a briefing to the Supreme Court on the issue but the Court has approved an uncontested motion from the AG to push the deadline for the briefing to June 26. The Court warned that “absent extenuating circumstances, subsequent requests (for delays) may be denied.”
As relayed by Cooper, Moody had cited multiple pressing deadlines and limited staff assistance for the delay, where the AG is reportedly aiming to quash the legalization initiative by saying, as in a previous judgment against an adult-use initiative, that it voids the state constitution’s single-subject rule.
But the request for a delay could indicate the current initiative may have a better case for getting on the ballot, according to Cooper.
“Supporters of the new AU campaign have noted that the current ballot language was crafted to address issues raised by the Court in 2021, which should improve its odds of clearing the review. A bullish interpretation of the request for a delay would be that the language has been well-crafted, and that the AG’s office is struggling to develop an argument this time around,” Cooper wrote.
In other US cannabis news in the same Beacon report, Cooper noted Verano (Verano Stock Quote, Charts, News, Analysts, Financials CSE:VRNO) has promoted its chief operating officer to president and made a number of other C-suite moves.
“Since our inception, I’ve been steadfast in my philosophy to develop internal talent to grow into the next generation of leaders at Verano,” said George Archos, Verano Founder and CEO in a June 6 press release. “Following these promotions, I believe we have one of the strongest and most experienced management teams in the industry which will serve to strengthen Verano’s ability to navigate the rapid evolution of the cannabis sector. I am incredibly proud of our team and look forward to continue working with them to drive our business forward.”
With his update, Cooper reiterated a “Buy” rating on Verano and C$17 target price, which at press time represented a one-year return of 346 per cent.