The North American Marijuana Index rose on Monday as pot stocks gained despite further delays to Canada’s marijuana legalization efforts. Though minor, 34 amendments were proposed to the final bill, which is expected to pass the Senate on Thursday. Following that, the bill will head back to the lower chamber, where members of the House will consider the changes. With summer break approaching Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is feeling a sense of urgency to follow through on promises to legalize cannabis before the fall, pushing lawmakers to stay in session until the bill passes.
“We will create a controlled and legalized framework for marijuana before the end of the summer,” Trudeau said in a Bloomberg Businessweek Debrief interview last week. The time frame includes up to 12 weeks of preparation before the legal market opens.
Holding up the bill are Conservative Senators concerned over a perceived lack of planning for how to deal with impaired drivers and other law enforcement issues surrounding marijuana legalization. Also on the table are amendments to ban home-grown cannabis, along with other regulatory issues that lawmakers expect will crop up over the next few years. Still, most experts expect the bill to pass, as Prime Minister Trudeau keeps the pressure on the Senate to make it happen.
One Conservative attempt to delay the bill was shot down on Monday when Senators voted 50 to 29 against a proposal to hold off on legalization until border issues with the United States could be addressed.
A spokesman for Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould told Bloomberg that “our government remains committed to legalization and strict regulation of cannabis happening this summer.” The Senate is expected to vote on the bill on June 7.
Meanwhile Wall Street continued its frenetic volatility, with all three major indices gaining on Monday on the back of a tech stock rally. Investors saw better-than-expected U.S. jobs data for May as a sign of strong economic growth as they temporarily turned their heads away from the ongoing trade-war debacle.
"There's momentum from Friday's job report that's spilled into Monday's trading and helped propel stocks higher," said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco in an interview with Reuters.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 178.48 points, or 0.72 percent, to close out the day at 24,813.69, while the S&P 500 rose 12.25 points, or 0.45 percent, to finish Monday at 2,746.87. Similarly, the Nasdaq Composite rose 52.13 points, or 0.69 percent, to close out the day at 7,606.46.
The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (HMMJ) rose CAD$0.28 per share, or 1.57 percent, to end the day at CAD$18.07, while the Evolve Marijuana ETF (SEED.TO) rose CAD$0.21 per share, or 1.24 percent to end the day at CAD$17.12.
FSD Pharma Goes Public On The CSE
Joining the public is FSD Pharma Inc. (CSE:HUGE), owner of Licensed Producer FV Pharma Inc., who announced last week their debut on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE). According to a statement FSD plans to build one of the largest indoor hydroponic cultivation and processing facilities in the industry. Among numerous notable highlights of late, the company recently entered into a partnership with Cannabis Wheaton Income Corp. (TSX-V:CBW), in the development of their cultivation facility.
"Today marks an exciting achievement for us to become a publicly traded on the CSE,” said Thomas Fairfull, company President, and CEO. “The Canadian cannabis industry is developing with pace, and we believe quality cannabis will be the backbone of all our future cannabis, cannabis products, ancillary business, and pharmaceutical development initiatives. As such, we are committed to cultivating the highest quality cannabis at scale by building out the world's largest, state of the art, hydroponic cultivation and processing facility, which will support all our planned business units under one massive roof.”
Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSX-V:OGI) (OTCQB:OGRMF) and Eviana Health Corporation entered into a non-binding term sheet with Organigram investing significantly in Eviana… The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TSX:TGOD) was forced to comment on recent trading by the IIROC… Isodiol International Inc. (CSE:ISOL) (OTC:ISOLF) closed its acquisition of a 51 percent equity stake in Farmtiva Inc.
How Legalization of Marijuana Could Affect New York State
From MBA@Syracuse, the Online MBA program at Syracuse University comes the following infographic on how much New York State could earn from recreational marijuana legalization. In a detailed blog post describing the benefits of legalization, John Torrens, Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management noted both the financial and social upsides of passing such legislation.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenue is at stake,” Torrens said. “But there’s also the social benefits. Countless numbers of young, black men are incarcerated for petty crimes, and you have patients who could seriously benefit that just aren’t. There’s such a stigma attached to it that people who could get it, still aren’t. It’s still pot.”
Check out the full infographic below: