Markets get high on cannabis

Although the much anticipated Democratic ‘blue wave’ failed to materialise in last week’s US presidential elections, there was a notable ‘green wave’ that has carried cannabis stocks to new highs.

While the battle for the White House remains a stalemate, there were conclusive results in Arizona, Montana, Mississippi, New Jersey and South Dakota in Tuesday’s ballots on a vote to legalise the sale of both medical and recreational cannabis in those states to adults over the age of 21.

Among a raft of changes that a Biden presidency would usher in is the decriminalisation of marijuana. The Democratic presidential nominee has a more liberal attitude to cannabis use and advocates treatment rather than incarceration for drug related offences. “We should decriminalise marijuana. I don’t believe anybody should be going to jail for drug use,” says Biden. “They should be going into mandatory rehabilitation. We should be building rehab centres to have these people housed.”

As a result of last week’s ballots leading pot stocks have jumped. Aurora Cannabis has already rallied 100% since election day, while shares in two other cannabis industry leaders, Tilray and Canopy Growth have also soared.

The cannabis industry is still a long way short of its record highs of September 2018, and the largest marijuana focused Exchange Traded Alternative Harvest Fund  (ETF MJ), remains more than 70% off its value then. But as the smoke clears after one of the most dramatic presidential elections in US history, it is becoming clear that almost half of Americans are now living in states where they can legally buy weed, and as growing support for the legalisation of cannabis continues the value of pot stocks looks set to bloom.

That outlook will be further bolstered by the comments of New York State’s governor Andrew Cuomo last week when he told a local radio station that New York State would look to legalise recreational pot next year.