The North American Marijuana Index skyrocketed on Tuesday on as U.S. pot stock investors reveled in the news of GW Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq:GWPH) Epidiolex patents. The company announced the receipt of Notices of Allowance for five new Epidiolex patent applications, all of which will be listed in the Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations, or the Orange Book, if and when the NDA for Epidiolex is approved. GW will own the rights to these patents until at least 2035. Giddy investors saw the Index shoot up 23.75 percent to close out the trading day at 325.23.
Meanwhile, Wall Street faltered on the news that U.S. President Donald Trump had ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, opting to nominate current CIA Director Mike Pompeo in his place. Trump and Tillerson had numerous public and private battles during Tillerson’s stint as head of the State Department which reached a crescendo this past week. Markets started the day shaky before finally falling off into negative numbers as the afternoon wore on.
"There's a lot of noise coming out of Washington over all these changes that's causing the markets to really not focus," said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities in an interview with Reuters.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 171.58 points, a decline of 0.68 percent, to 25,007.03. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 dropped 0.64 percent while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 1.02 percent. A broad-based rally in Canada saw the S&P/TSX composite index climb up 42.35 points to 15,647.14
Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (HMMJ.TO) fell $0.14 per share, a decline of 0.72 percent to close the day at CAD$19.24. Similarly, the Evolve Marijuana ETF dropped $0.01 per share to close the day at CAD$20.12.
Winners and Losers
Affinor Growers Inc. (CSE:AFI) (OTC:RSSFF) gained 4.7 percent on higher than average trading volume, closing the day at $0.14 per share… CannaRoyalty Corp. (CSE:CRZ) (OTC:CNNRF) rose 5.02 percent on lower than average trading volume, to end the day at $3.35 per share… Pineapple Express, Inc. (OTC:PNPL) jumped 23.81 percent on average trading volume, closing the day at $1.30 per share.
Global Hemp Group Inc. (CSE:GHG) (OTC:GBHPF) dropped 5.23 percent on higher than average trading volume, closing the day at $0.123 per share… Golden Leaf Holdings Ltd. (CSE:GLH) (OTC:GLDFF) fell 7.4 percent on lower than average trading volume to end the day at $0.24 per share… Maricann Group Inc. (CSE:MARI) (OTC:MRRCF) slipped 10.91 percent on lower than average trading volume, closing the day at $1.69 per share.
Marijuana Index Sees Largest Monthly Drop In February
February saw the North American Marijuana Index plummet 24 percent, the largest one month drop in the history of the Index. The fall ended a five-month win streak for the Index, which saw legal weed stocks gain nearly 200 percent since September. According to MJIC, all 15 U.S. constituents lost in February, with 13 constituents falling at least ten percent.
The Canadian Marijuana Index fell 21 percent for the month, with the bulk of those losses coming during the first two days in February, according to MJIC. Only two of the Index constituents saw gains during the month -- Cronos Group Inc. (CRON) (TSX-V: MJN) and CanniMed Inc. (TSX:CMED) -- the former of which debuted on the Nasdaq exchange and the latter who was finally overtaken by Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB).
The month was also marked by decreases in both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P/TSX Venture Index, each of which fell four percent.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is hoping that state legislators will legalize pot by the end of the year. In fact, his first state budget proposal includes $60 million in tax revenue from legalized cannabis, according to NJ.com.
In his budget address, Murphy reminded lawmakers that cannabis legalization is about more than tax revenue, it is about fixing the racial disparities brought on by the decades-long drug war. “Decriminalization alone will not put the corner dealer out of business, it will not help us protect our kids, and it will not end the racial disparities we see," Murphy said.
Watch his address about marijuana below: