Cannabis stocks in both the U.S. and Canada took at hit following the announcement by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he was rescinding the Obama-era Cole Memo, which had allowed state-approved cannabis programs to proceed without federal interference.
In the U.S, Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., which has recently expanded into plant nutrients and hydroponic growing systems, opened at $106.11 before falling 5.2 percent to $103.19 – it’s largest drop in eight months. At the end of daily trading, Scott’s had run back above its opening price, closing at $106.19.
Alternative Harvest ETF – the first New York Stock Exchange-approved cannabis exchange-traded fund – dropped 9.3 percent, wiping out gains made following California’s Jan. 1 legalization; however, at the end of Thursday trading, the fund ultimately lost just 2.34 percent.
Scott’s and Alternative Harvest are the only two companies with cannabis interests allowed on the major U.S. market. Over-the-counter stocks were also battered following Sessions’ announced policy change: MassRoots started Thursday at .80 and by 11:00 am had dropped to .53 ultimately closing at .58. Cannabis Sativa Inc. began the day at $9.19 and fell to as low as $6.90 before settling at $7.40.
In Canada, which plans on federally legalizing cannabis for adults in the summer and allows cannabis companies to access the nation’s largest markets, Canopy Growth Corp. — the nation’s largest cannabis firm by market value, according to the Cannabist — began the day at C$33.97 but sank to as low as CA$29.38 before making gains and closing at CA$32.32.
Aurora Cannabis started the day at CA$10.78, plunged to CA$9.34 when the Sessions news broke, before pushing back toward its opening price, closing at CA$10.47.
CannaRoyalty Corp., which announced it had agreed to acquire two California firms in November, experienced market losses of nearly 16 percent yesterday, opening at CA$5.10, falling as low as CA$4.11, before settling at CA$4.25.
According to the Cannabist report, the Bloomberg Intelligence Global Cannabis Competitive Peers Index fell 22 percent following the policy change report.
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