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Marijuana Stock Brief: Hey You Kids, Get Off My Lawn

By Brandon A. Dorfman
Jul 17, 2018

The North American Marijuana Index fell again on Tuesday, despite creeping back above 200 points following Monday’s hard fall on the news that Canada seeks to implement additional taxes on the cannabis industry. More roadblocks befall the sector this week as West Vancouver became the latest in a series of jurisdictions to ban both cannabis retail and production facilities. Calling the move, “prohibition-lite” councilors decided that no one could open up shop in the area without a rezoning hearing first.

The Index fell 5.22, or 2.26 percent to finish the day at 225.93, with the United States Marijuana Index falling 1.74 percent and the Canadian Marijuana Index dropping 2.25 percent.

The city may begin working on a new regulatory framework once legal cannabis sales begin in October to allow cannabis business to operate sans zoning hearings, but until then officials believe the move gives them an extra level of control over the process. When cannabis legalization passed earlier this year in Canada, the government gave municipalities veto power over retail license approval.

"In a way, it's prohibition light," said Jim Bailey, West Vancouver's Director of Planning in an interview with CBC News. "Staff don't believe it's contradictory. By not allowing them outright … it gives you an added level of control."

Currently, several cities in Canada have similar bans, with most waiting until October to institute new rules.

Meanwhile, on Wall Street stocks rose for the fourth trading session in a row after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell wrote that he saw a positive outlook for the U.S. economy. His views were challenged by Congress in a special hearing, as many representatives showed concern for President Trump’s trade policies.

"(Powell) suggested that they're keeping an eye on trade developments and people are looking at that as a signal that they may moderate their rate increases if they see some signs of danger," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in an interview with Reuters.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 55.53 points, or 0.22 percent, to close out the day at 25,119.89, while the S&P 500 rose 11.12 points, or 0.40 percent, to end the day at 2,809.55. Finally, the Nasdaq Composite rose 49.40 points, or 0.63 percent, to finish the day at 7,855.12.

The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (HMMJ.TO) fell CAD$0.30 per share, or 1.76 percent to finish the day at CAD$16.78, while the Evolve Marijuana ETF (SEED.TO) fell CAD$0.26 per share, or 1.65 percent, to end the day at CAD$15.49.

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