As the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada looms, my Twitter timeline is inundated with tweets about it. Rules and regulations, political discussions, advertisements - if you haven’t heard about this “event” by now, you must be living under a rock. And the value of weed stocks seem to be on a sharp increase because of it. But all this talk about legalization got me thinking, is what I’m seeing on my timeline actually what the world is talking about? Is legalization that big of a deal for people? And is the talk about this topic and the increase in the value of stock prices related?
To find out if this is the case, I found a website that lists twitter trends across the world for free. Using #marijuana as a search query, I used ParseHub to scrape the trends’ information including dates, locations, and a few tweets from the trends. I also used ParseHub to scrape stock price information (opening prices and dates) for 3 companies in the marijuana industry. Here is what I found:
Unsurprisingly, to me anyway, the majority of the trends associated with this hashtag have to do with legalization. If you look at the content of the tweets for dates with the most trends, they are mostly talking about this topic, with the date with the most trends occurring on February 6th, 2018. This period in time was marked by heated discussions about legalization in the US.
However, what I wasn’t expecting was that the conversation about policy reform/legalization in India would hit the trending page as well. I wasn’t even aware that India was having this conversation until doing research for this blog post. This suggests that talk of decriminalization and legalization is much more widespread than I would have first suspected.
For the most part, the Twitter trends have a very slight positive correlation to the stock prices of companies in the marijuana industry. However, as you pass the date that Bill C-45 was introduced, these numbers seem to be more strongly correlated to each other.
This is not to say, however, that one factor influences the other. What this seems to be a function of is the news coming out about legalization. As legalization comes closer to fruition, more and more news comes out about it every day, and the higher stock prices rise due to the increase in profitability of the industry as a whole. Since this is such a hot button topic, everyone wants to jump in on the conversation whenever news comes out about it. This is why it looks like one factor influences the other.
For example, one of the largest periods of growth that weed stocks saw in this time was the period from November 2017 to January 2018. This was due to California’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) going into effect on January 1, 2018. A big deal at the time, it created a lot of buzz on social media about widespread legalization.
In conclusion, what I’m seeing on my Twitter timeline is correct - the legalization of marijuana in Canada is a popular topic on social media right now. In addition, these trends are somewhat related to the stock prices of weed stocks. However, both of these upwards trends seem to be dependant on the news cycle, and not on each other.
Twitter trend data was scraped from trendogate.com, and stock prices were scraped from Yahoo Finance. If you want to try and scrape this data from yourself, visit our Help Center for some helpful tutorials about scraping multiple pages of results or scraping data from a table. If you have any questions about scraping either of these websites, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!