The North American Marijuana Index saw paltry gains on Thursday, the first full day of trading for pot stocks following the July 4th holiday. A meager win by all accounts was permeated by the news that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions continues to put up a blockade against cannabis research, defying both experts and reason. According to a recent report in Reason, two years after the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced it would accept new applications from growers of research target="_blank"marijuana, all of those applications remain in bureaucratic limbo, stalled due to the intervention of Mr. Sessions.
The Index rose 1.13 points, or 0.53 percent, to close out the day at 215.01, with the United States Marijuana Index climbing 0.22 percent and the Canadian Marijuana Index rising 1.63 percent.
Although Sessions technically has the authority to hold up the process, tradition dictates that such decisions are the purview of the DEA. In April, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Kamala Harris (D-California) sent a letter to Sessions asking for a timeline for processing the applications, suggesting a deadline of May 15. The deadline came and went with no response.
While applicants claim they have received little to no communication from the DEA nor the DOJ, according to the report in Reason, Sessions continues to make excuses, including telling one Senate committee he was afraid the licenses might break a U.N. treaty —a claim most agree is incorrect.
Meanwhile, a proposed cooldown between the U.S. and the European Union over tariffs Sent Wall Street rising on Thursday, with reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel would support lowering tariffs on auto imports if President Trump did the same. The release of minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's June meeting also sent stocks higher in late day trading as news of a positive outlook on the economy calmed investor fears, at least momentarily.
"The fact that EU and U.S. officials are discussing proposals to eliminate certain tariffs on auto imports, that's helping sentiment today and calming fears of an escalating trade war," said Ryan Larson, head of U.S. equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management in an interview with Reuters.
Still, President Trump’s trade war with Beijing continues as tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports are set to commence on Friday. China vowed to retaliate, with most experts predicting a net loss in manufacturing jobs when it is all said and done.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 181.92 points, or 0.75 percent, to end the day at 24,356.74, and the S&P 500 rose 23.39 points, or 0.86 percent, to close out the day at 2,736.61. Similarly, the Nasdaq Composite rose 83.75 points, or 1.12 percent, to finish Thursday at 7,586.43.
The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (HMMJ.TO) rose CAD$0.16 per share, or 0.88 percent to finish the day at CAD$18.26, while the Evolve Marijuana ETF (SEED.TO) rose CAD$0.16 per share, or 0.95 percent to end the day at CAD$17.06.
Canopy Growth Expands To Latin America
Opening new markets is Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX:WEED)(NYSE:CGC) who introduced on Thursday their new Latin American affiliate Canopy LATAM Corporation. The new wholly-owned subsidiary acquired Spectrum Cannabis Colombia S.A.S. to focus on the region’s emerging medical cannabis market. Furthermore, Canopy hopes to further growth of its Spectrum brand.
"Today is a historic day for Canopy Growth and a victory for patients across Latin America as we take a leap forward in the future of medical cannabis across the region," said Mark Zekulin, President and Co-CEO, Canopy Growth in a statement released Thursday. "Sustainable regional production coupled with focused in-market entities led by seasoned regional executives is our winning formula, and the launch of Canopy LATAM represents another successfully executed step in our ambitious global growth strategy."
Aphria Inc. (TSX:APH)(OTCMKTS:APHQF) completed the divestiture of their ownership interest in Copperstate Farms, LLC… Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB)(OTCMKTS:ACBFF) will supply cannabis to the Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission… Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED), (NYSE: CGC) will create 136 new jobs in New Brunswick.
How To Apply For Life Insurance If You Smoke Pot
According to the following infographic from Visual.ly, marijuana is the third most popular drug behind alcohol and tobacco. But just because legalization is spreading across North America and other parts of the globe, does not mean life insurance carriers are ready to accept its use. Find out the best way to sign up for life insurance as a pot smoker from the infographic below: