Cannabis stocks across exchanges soared in the late afternoon yesterday after President Biden surprisingly announced to pardon thousands of people convicted in federal courts for simple possession of cannabis and launch a review of the plant’s classification under the Controlled Substances Act.
Here’s a snapshot of how some of those stocks ended the trading day:
- WM Technology (Nasdaq: MAPS): Up nearly 64%.
- Ayr Wellness (OTCQX: AYRWF): Up 50%.
- Green Thumb Industries (OTC: GTBIF) (CSE: GTII): Up 32% after slumping earlier in the day on the news that three of its board members resigned.
“There are thousands of people who were previously convicted of simple possession who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result,” Biden said in a tweet. “My pardon will remove this burden.”
The development came as a surprise to the public, as the Biden administration has been mostly mum on the issue since taking office despite campaigning on a platform that vowed to end the War on Drugs.
Morgan Paxhia, co-founder and managing director of Poseidon Investment Management said that the move was unexpected, though welcomed. “This is a big step forward for American citizens and the global cannabis industry,” he said.
Good news, but work remains
While favorable reaction to the news has been generally widespread, investors and financiers remain vigilant regarding the work ahead.
“Investors should enjoy the victory, but understand that the overall market will still dictate where the price action goes,” notable investor and self-proclaimed cannabis provocateur Jason Spatafora (@WolfOfWeedST) told Green Market Report. “I am not confident a bottom is in and I say that as someone bullish on the sector.”
Investment firm Jefferies Financial Group said in a statement that the descheduling of cannabis is “unlikely,” though rescheduling (depending on where to) alongside SAFE Banking Plus legislation and a unified vision between the fed and state governments would “be enough for uplistings and a significant inflow of new institutional capital.”
George Mancheril, CEO & co-founder of cannabis financier Bespoke Financial thinks that while the move is a “huge step towards undoing the human cost and damage of the unsuccessful war on drugs,” descheduling cannabis will take much longer due to political headwinds.