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Aphria, Canopy Growth, Aurora Cannabis bow to pressure from vaping fatalities

Leading players in the cannabis industry were bleeding on Monday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that it suspects THC-containing products to be the cause of the recent vaping fatalities.

As vaping products account for a major chunk of cannabis sales, weed stocks suffered a massive sell-off, led by Aphria Inc (NYSE: APHA), which was down 5.8% during intra-day trading. Leading marijuana firms Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) and Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB) were both down over 4.5%.

canabis stocks
Picture Courtesy: Canopy Growth

As per BDS Analytics data, vaping products made up a quarter of all licensed cannabis sales in Colorado, California, Arizona, Oregon and Nevada through July. The market panic is, therefore, not surprising.

In the wake of over 12 deaths and many hundreds falling ill, cannabis vape products have reportedly declined 15% till the September first week. Inventors fear a government crackdown on cannabis-based vape products, which would drastically dent sales at these firms.

CannTrust may be cheap, but stay away from this pot stock

On the other hand, there is also a possibility of the health scare helping the legal weed producers. Counterfeit brands that use illegal cannabis are thought to be the primary perpetrator of this health hazard. These brands – including Dank Vapes, Moon Rocks and Mario cards – are easily available online, and come in packaging that looks like the licensed ones.  

For long, weed associations such as the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA)  have been putting pressure on the government to federally legalize and regulate the products.

While it is yet to be established whether the vaping products of the big players are safe, the recent turn of events is likely to prod the government into taking a quick decision with weed regulation.  

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