Cannabis Stock Report: Canadian Cannabis Act Progresses; U.S. Devolves As Pot Stocks Soar
The North American Marijuana Index shot up on Friday, as Canadian pot stocks heralded the passage of the second reading of Bill C-45, the bill to legalize marijuana, in the Senate the previous evening. A tight vote that was by no means certain all day Thursday; the bill passed via the slimmest of margins, 44-29. In fact, growing concerns that the bill would not pass sent weed stocks tumbling on Thursday and forced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to urge traveling Senators to make their way back home for the vote.
“We expect a more independent Senate will do its work, to look at legislation sent by the House of Commons, that they evaluate the positive impacts on the community, that they bring ameliorations, if needed," said Trudeau, threatening legislators who attempted to delay the measure. "But it is very clear that this bill responds first to an electoral promise that we made very clearly during the election campaign and for which Canadians voted, and also that is something that we will continue to work on with different levels of government.”
In the end, Trudeau’s bill, and his government lived to fight another day. The Canadian Cannabis Act will move into committees, where it will be studied from various angles, before a final vote in June. Meanwhile, marijuana stocks jumped 6.31 points on the Index on Friday, or 2.55 percent, to close the day at 253.67.
The United States Marijuana Index fell 0.39 points, or 0.51 percent, to close out the day at 76.29, while The Canadian Marijuana Index skyrocketed 27.30 points, a gain of 3.88 percent to close out the day at 730.64.
Meanwhile, on the broader markets, Wall Street took a nosedive as President Trump’s tariffs saw investors pulling out of the market, afraid of incurring any further losses as they head into the weekend. Increasing fears of a trade war with China had all but stifled any near-term gains the market has seen recently, as an increasingly erratic President toys with both the economic and democratic future of the country.
"There is concern what the trade war could look like. Investors want to manage their risk. If it escalates rapidly, it could be a major headwind for the market," said Peter Kenny, senior market strategist at Global Markets Advisory Group, in an interview with Reuters.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 424.69 points, or 1.77 percent, to close out the week at 23,533.2, while the S&P 500 lost 55.43 points, or 2.10 percent, ending Friday at 2,588.26. Faring little better, the Nasdaq Composite dropped 174.01 points, or 2.43 percent, to end Friday at 6,992.67.
Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (HMMJ.TO) gained CAD$0.27 per share, an increase of 1.51 percent to close the day at CAD$18.20. Similarly, the Evolve Marijuana ETF (SEED) climbed $0.28 per share to close the day at CAD$19.13.
One Step Forward, Two Steps Dead
As Canada celebrates another step closer to legalization, state-licensed businesses in the U.S. are looking down the barrel of another possible --though not probable -- roadblock to full legalization, the death penalty.
The Cannabist reports that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a memo to federal prosecutors asking them to follow a little-known federal law that allows for the death penalty to be sought for drug traffickers. In America’s continuing descent into third-world status, the law, which aims to snuff out the opioid trade could, theoretically at least, include anyone who is convicted of cultivating more than 60,000 marijuana plants or possessing more than 60,000 kilograms of marijuana-substances.
“I think it’s still very theoretical,” said Sam Kamin, a University of Denver law professor who spoke to The Cannabist. “I don’t think anyone thinks the federal government is going to seek the death penalty against a state-licensed business. But what it highlights is this enormous disconnect with federal and state law.”
For now, most experts are dismissing the idea that the federal government would come down so harshly on the state-level legal marijuana trade, but as the chaos of the Trump Presidency ensues, high alert is the order of the day.
Maricann Group Inc. (CSE:MARI) (OTCQB:MRRCF) received an occupancy permit from Norfolk County for the first phase of a new grow facility in Langton, Ontario… Isodiol International Inc. (CSE:ISOL) (OTC:ISOLF) signed a letter of intent to acquire 100 percent of specialty vape retailer KURE Corp… CURE Pharmaceutical (OTC:CURR) hopes to be the next pot stock to move to the Nasdaq.