Following the Wednesday (November 7) resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions — the biggest voice against marijuana inside the Trump administration — pot stocks shot up.
Sessions, a vehement advocate against the cannabis industry, was sacked following increasing tension between himself and President Donald Trump.
In his place, Matthew Whitaker, chief of staff to the attorney general, will become the acting attorney general as indicated by a tweet from Trump.
We are pleased to announce that Matthew G. Whitaker, Chief of Staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice, will become our new Acting Attorney General of the United States. He will serve our Country well….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018
Rush for stocks
Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) took in the biggest push thanks to Sessions’ removal. The cannabis licensed producer in Canada, which has no effective assets in the US at this moment, increased 19.53 percent and finished Wednesday’s trading session with a price per share of US$139.60.
On Thursday’s (November 8), trading session TLRY went back down 10.10 percent as of 11:55 a.m. EST.
Cannabis exchange-traded funds (ETF’s) such as the Horizons Marijuana Life Science Index ETF (TSX:HMMJ) and the Evolve Marijuana ETF (TSX:SEED) both made gains on Wednesday of 5.46 percent and 1 percent.
Early on Thursday, the two indexes balanced back with 3.56 and 2.48 percent loses for HMMJ and SEED. Respectively the two ETFs were valued at a price of C$21.41 and C$23.64.
Fellow Canadian producers on US exchanges Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC,TSX:WEED), Aphria (NYSE:APHA,TSX:APHA), Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB,TSX:ACB) and Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON,TSX:CRON) all took in gains on Wednesday.
Sessions fights cannabis industry
In January, a memorandum from Sessions removing an Obama-era protection for the cannabis market, sent pot stock to the red.
The industry-wide loss was seen no matter if companies had or didn’t have assets in the US market.
The move from Sessions, at the time, was feared for opening the possibility of a crackdown on the US cannabis industry.
With Sessions’ dismissal, the cannabis industry loses one of its biggest enemies in the US.
For cannabis investors, the move could signal the potential for a sweeping marijuana policy to arrive sooner rather than later for the US and fully open a gigantic market.
The momentum for these stocks shows an interest for a market and companies that at the time don’t have assets in the US cannabis market.
Pot stocks also saw gains thanks in part to the win of three states for legalized marijuana policy.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.