The North American Marijuana Index took a tumble on Thursday despite reports out of the U.K. of the legalization of medical cannabis. The U.K. Home Office announced earlier that medical marijuana would be available through doctor’s prescription sometime this fall, a decision that follows a recent spate of high profile cases of families fighting for the use of such medication. The Index fell 5.95 points, or 2.62 percent to finish out the day at 221.27.
The United States Marijuana Index fell 2.04 points, or 2.21 percent to close out the day at 90.12 while the Canadian Marijuana Index took a beating on Thursday, falling 14.86 points, or 2.88 percent to end the day at 501.3.
“Recent cases involving sick children made it clear to me that our position on cannabis-related medicinal products was not satisfactory,” said Home Secretary, Sajid Javid according to the Independent.
“Following advice from two sets of independent advisors, I have taken the decision to reschedule cannabis-derived medicinal products – meaning they will be available on prescription,” the Home Secretary continued.
The quick decision is in stark contrast to the ongoing debate over cannabis legalization in the United States and follows a move by Northern Ireland’s Department of Health to allow 12-year-old Billy Caldwell an emergency license for the use of medical marijuana. According to the Independent, Billy will now be able to purchase the legally on his 13th birthday.
Billy’s mother was ecstatic. “That the home secretary has announced that medicinal cannabis can now be prescribed by GPs on Billy’s 13th birthday is amazing. I wonder if he knew? Never has Billy received a better birthday present, and never from somebody so unexpected,” she stated.
Still, officials in the U.K. warn that the decision is not a step towards the legalization of recreational cannabis. Possession of cannabis in the country still carries harsh penalties, including fines and jail time.
Meanwhile, on Wall Street, shares of Facebook plummeted, dragging down down the rest of the market with them. The social media giant saw stock prices drop nearly 19 percent after forecasting lower profit margins for the foreseeable future. News of the company’s prediction weighed heavily on the S&P 500 on Thursday.
Conversely, the Nasdaq gained on Thursday following news that trade talks between the U.S. and the European Union were set to ease tensions between the two global powerhouses. "What we're seeing is the market broadening out, which is healthy," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in an interview with Reuters. "We need to see a rotation take place when the leadership is under pressure, and the high-flying tech names have been in the leadership position."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 112.97 points, or 0.44 percent, to end the day at 25,527.07, while the S&P 500 fell 8.63 points, or 0.30 percent, to close out the day at 2,837.44. Finally, the Nasdaq Composite fell 80.05 points, or 1.01 percent, to finish Thursday at 7,852.19.
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The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (HMMJ.TO) fell on Thursday, dropping CAD$0.11 per share, or 0.69 percent to close at CAD$15.93, while the Evolve Marijuana ETF (SEED.TO) fell CAD$0.22 per share, or 1.47 percent to close out the day at CAD$14.75.
Nevada Cannabis Sales Set New Tax Record
Cannabis tax revenue in Nevada continues to increase, according to a report on Thursday from the Las Vegas Sun, with the final tally for May coming in at $7.1 million, the most ever since sales began 11 months prior. The previous record was set in March when the state brought in $7 million in tax revenue.
Taxes are steep on cannabis in Nevada, with a 15 percent wholesale tax on medical and recreational marijuana and an additional ten percent excise tax on recreational cannabis.
“While marijuana-related sales may be a fairly small portion of overall sales activity in the state, they have clearly contributed to the growth Nevada has witnessed over the fiscal year that draws to a close in June,” said Bill Anderson, executive director of the Nevada Department of Taxation, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
Aphria Inc. (TSX:APH) completed its largest international shipment of cannabis oil to date to Medlab Clinical Limited (ASX:MDC) an Australian medical life science company… The Hydropothecary Corporation (TSX:HEXO) invested $10 million into cannabis retailer, Fire & Flower Inc… Scythian Biosciences Corp. (TSXV:SCYB) announced that George Scorsis resigned from its board of directors, with Rob Reid appointed Interim Chairman.
The Inevitability of Cannabis Legalization in America
Grizzle writer and PotNetwork contributor Scott Willis wrote a piece this week on the inevitability of cannabis legalization in America. The article, which appears on Grizzle, puts together one of the most compelling arguments to date for why the tide is turning towards prohibition repeal in the United States. It’s a must-read for anyone keeping up with the cannabis debate today.
Check out the infographic below, courtesy of our friends at Grizzle, titled “Why Marijuana Legalization in America Is Inevitable,” and then head on over to their site for the full article: