Cannabis stocks rise amid interest by Coca-Cola, opportunities for Shopify
Shares of cannabis stocks are in focus following a report that Coca-Cola (KO) is in talks with Aurora Cannabis (ACBFF) as it eyes the cannabis industry and an analyst note from Keybanc which said Shopify (SHOP) has cannabis potential.
COCA-COLA EYES CANNABIS
Coca-Cola is monitoring the nascent cannabis drinks industry and is in talks with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis to develop the drinks, Bloomberg reported Monday.
“We are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world,” Coca-Cola spokesman Kent Landers said. “The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time” Landers added.
The move comes as beverage makers are looking towards cannabis as soda consumption and traditional business slows.
Constellation Brands (STZ, STZ.B) previously announced it will spend $3.8B to increase its stake in Canadian marijuana producer Canopy Growth (CGC) and Molson Coors Brewing (TAP) is starting a joint venture with Quebec’s Hydropothecary to develop cannabis drinks.
In addition, Diageo (DEO) has been holding talks with at least three Canadian cannabis producers regarding a potential deal and Heineken’s (HEINY) Lagunitas label has launched a brand focused on non-alcoholic drinks infused with THC.
SHOPIFY MAY BENEFIT FROM CANNABIS SALES
KeyBanc analyst Monika Garb told investors in a research note on Monday that she is a buyer of Shopify, as the company has “ample” growth opportunities ahead.
She sees potential upside to her above-consensus estimates and expects that recreational sales of cannabis in Canada could be a general merchandise volume and revenue driver further benefiting Shopify’s business momentum.
The analyst said the company has been selected by several Canadian provinces to run their e-commerce sites and in-store point of sale solutions and has also signed deals with private cannabis producers and distributors, including Canopy Growth and Aurora.
Additionally, Garb says Shopify is the best positioned to benefit from growth in emerging brands, citing brands like Rebecca Minkoff and Kyle Cosmetics that already use Shopify. Garb maintained an Overweight rating and $182 price target on shares.
Publicly-traded companies in the space include Cronos Group (CRON), Canopy Growth, Tilray (TLRY), Cannabis Science (CBIS), Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR) and Aurora Cannabis.
Aurora Cannabis gained over 16% in Monday’s trading, while Tilray gained 7.3%.
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