The North American Marijuana Index crept upwards on Wednesday, with pot stocks gaining as legislators in the Canadian House of Commons spent the day debating a series of amendments added onto Bill C-45 by their counterparts in the Senate. House Liberals rejected 13 of the nearly 50 amendments tacked onto the bill, including a controversial one which would have allowed provinces to ban home-grown marijuana at their discretion. As it stands, Canadian will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants in their homes.
Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor made it clear that provinces would have some leeway in addressing the home-grow situation, telling reporters that they would be able to limit the number of plants to as few as one, according to The Globe and Mail. However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was steadfast in his continued support for home-grown cannabis, reminding reporters that it would be part of Canada’s three-year review of the new law.
“One of the strong recommendations by experts was that we ensure that personal cultivation of four plants at home,” Trudeau said, according to The Globe and Mail. “We understand there are questions and concerns about this, and we understand it will be important to study the impacts of what we are doing and whether there will be changes made in three years.”
The bill now goes back to the Senate, where Canada’s unelected body will have to decide whether or not to quarrel over the rejected amendments. Senator Tony Dean, an Independent who sponsored the bill in the upper chamber, expressed disappointment over the House’s decision to reject the amendments, as per a report in The Globe and Mail. While he stated that he is unsure what the Senate will do now, many expect that Conservative will attempt to cajole the Liberal majority into fighting for the amendments, especially the home-grow rule and one that requires publicly-traded cannabis companies to publish a list of investors.
“I would have liked to have seen more of them accepted,” Dean said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “My view on this is that at the end of the day, government makes decisions and they are the decision maker in our context. Importantly, accountability goes along with that, the government is responsible for the bill and its outcomes.”
Cannabis is expected to go on sale two-to-three months following the bill’s final approval, according to a timeline set earlier by the government.
Wall Street had a rough day on Wednesday as stocks fell following an expected rate-hike by the Fed, with two more expected by year’s end. Moreover, investors were dismayed by news that the Central Bank would no longer help to stimulate the economy. According to Reuters, the bank raised its overnight lending rate a quarter of a percentage point.
"The expectation now is for four rate increases in total in 2018. Consensus had been more like three, moving toward four, so I think that's a bit of a surprise," said Katie Nixon, chief investment officer at Northern Trust Wealth Management in an interview with Reuters.
"It seems as if the Fed is much more confident now in inflation reaching, in fact maybe breaching a little bit, their target, so they are pulling forward some of the rate increases,” she added.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 119.53 points, or 0.47 percent, to end the day at 25,201.2, and the S&P 500 fell 11.22 points, or 0.40 percent, to close out the day at 2,775.63. Finally, the Nasdaq Composite fell 8.10 points, or 0.11 percent, to finish Wednesday at 7,695.70.
Less than what they seem is The Green Organic Dutchman (TSE:TGOD), one of this years most talked about IPO’s, of whom it was revealed this week might not be giving investors the full story. The company, whose current market cap is $1.29 billion, claims a capacity to grow 116,000 kg of cannabis on 175 acres of land in what is reported to be one of Canada’s most densely populated areas. Known as the Hamilton Facility, the project is said to be nearly 70 percent completed by the company, as represented by a progress bar on their investor deck.
A recent site visit from The Cannalysts tells a very different story, with the images they took showing a site barely under construction. It is damning and disappointing evidence for what was a promising company —one that saw Aurora Cannabis invest nearly $67-million for a 17.62 percent interest earlier in the year. As of yet, there has been no response from the company. Stock prices have dropped dramatically since the news came out, with the company losing nearly 10 percent in trading on Wednesday.
On the precipice of marijuana legalization in Canada, the following infographic looks at overall use throughout the country. Put together by Statistics Canada as part of their tri-monthly survey on cannabis use, the graphic shows that by province, Quebec has the smallest percentage of cannabis users in the country. Check out the full infographic below: