The Trump administration’s troubling stance on cannabis policy has sparked a pullback in marijuana stocks, according to New Frontier Data.
In 2016, the Viridian Cannabis Stock Index ballooned by 236 percent, fuelled partially by opportunities created by the 10 new states that passed medical and recreational use laws last November.
The index dipped briefly after the election due to investor concerns about how the Trump administration might handle cannabis policy, but the market quickly recovered and growth continued into the New Year.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s Feb. 23 statement that the administration may make a distinction between medical and recreational cannabis use – and that there could be greater enforcement of recreational laws – triggered the biggest decline in the index in 18 months. This wiped out almost all the gains made since the start of 2017.
Fears of greater federal enforcement were further fuelled by Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s letter to Members of Congress requesting they nix the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which prevents the Department of Justice from interfering with state medical cannabis programs.
The amendment is up for renewal in September.