Marijuana stocks falter on AG nominee’s comments

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Attorney General nominee William Barr’s stance on marijuana spooks investors

During his confirmation hearing before Congress yesterday, Attorney General (AG) nominee William Barr was blunt in his opinion of marijuana. He stated that he is personally opposed to the plant, but understands that the country is waiting for some type of federal legislation to be introduced. The fact that the potential top cop of the U.S. would be against marijuana caused ripples in the marijuana stock markets.

Barr told legislators on Capitol Hill, “[W]e either should have a federal law that prohibits marijuana everywhere, which I would support myself because I think it’s a mistake to back off marijuana. However, if we want a federal approach – if we want states to have their own laws – then let’s get there and get there in the right way.” On a positive note, he added that he would not go after those cannabis businesses that comply with regulations in their respective states and with a Department of Justice memo, the Cole memo, that was rescinded last year by the former AG, Jeff Sessions.

Following his remarks, the ETFMG Alternative Harvest exchange-traded fund (ETF), a fund that includes a range of some of the largest marijuana stocks, dropped around 3% in just 15 minutes. Canopy Growth, by the time the closing bell rang yesterday, had fallen 2.8% and Aurora was down 3.2% after a mid-session increase of 11%. Cronos also dipped, falling 5.2%. Alternative Harvest, at the end of trading, closed at 3.2%

The good news is that the drop was just short-lived. Canopy is now up 1.38% in the past 24 hours and Aurora is up 2.81%. Cronos has seen a slight uptick, currently 0.72% higher than yesterday.