Entrance to the New York Stock Exchange in New York, New York.

Ken Lund

Exchange-Traded Cannabis Fund Sees Gains in Wake of California Legalization

The first cannabis exchange-traded fund on the New York Stock Exchange – Alternative Harvest ETFgained more than 9 percent as California began legal salesopening yesterday at $33.76 and closing at $35.57. According to a Forbes report, its Canadian counterpart, Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences, shot up 12 percent.

Alternative Harvest ETF, which trades under the MJX symbol, tracks 30 companies – including biotech, pharmaceutical and a handful of tobacco companies – “likely to benefit from the increasing global acceptance of various uses of the cannabis plant.” The ETF was formally Tierra XP Latin America Real Estate ETF, traded under the LARE ticker.

Included in its holdings are Canadian medical cannabis companies Canopy Growth Corp., Medreleaf, Cronos Group, Aurora Cannabis Inc., CanniMed Therapeutics, Organigram Holdings, Supreme Cannabis Co. Inc., and Emerald Health Therapeutics. Its tobacco holdings include Scandinavian Tobacco, British American Tobacco, Philip Morris International, Japan Tobacco Inc., Turning Point Brands, and Universal Corporation. Included in its pharmaceutical holdings are Arena Pharmaceuticals, GW Pharmaceuticals – which manufactures the CBD epilepsy treatment Epidiolex – and Insys Therapeutics – the makers of fentanyl who infamously spent $500,000 against Arizona’s recreational-use ballot initiative in 2016. Insys’ cannabis-derived Syndros was granted Schedule II status by the Drug Enforcement Administration last March.

The company also counts Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. among its holdings, which, in 2015 and 2016, completed several deals for hydroponics and plant nutrient companies.

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