Weed is the new bitcoin.
While the world of marijuana-related companies trading on U.S. stock exchanges is not large, one of the premiere examples had a roller coaster ride last week.
Tilray, a Canadian-based medical marijuana company, first started publicly trading in the U.S. in mid-July. It bounced around $25 a share through mid-August, then shot up to a peak of $263 on Wednesday — roughly a ten-fold increase in about a month. Things got so crazy the Nasdaq actually halted trades in the stock multiple times that day.
By Friday afternoon it had settled to around $130 a share. Other marijuana stocks, such as Canopy Growth and GW Pharmaceuticals, also surged recently, but not by nearly the same amount. And the whole ride still leaves Tilray with a market value somewhere in the vicinity of $12 billion — more than Macy’s, for context.
It’s hard to see this as anything other than Wall Street betting that marijuana will soon be fully, or at least mostly, legal in America. And it’s hard to see the specifics of most of these bets as anything other than foolish.
Now, as mentioned, Tilray is based in Canada. The company’s website describes its mission as “cultivating and delivering the benefits of medical cannabis safely and reliably.” And Canada has actually already legalized recreational marijuana use, though the change doesn’t take effect until October. In America, marijuana use is legal to varying degrees in some states, but remains illegal nationally. That means any American company that invests in marijuana runs the risk of bringing down law enforcement’s wrath. Tilray and other Canadian firms (like Canopy Growth) have no such problems.
But trace the saga of Tilray’s rise, and it’s pretty clearly about American enthusiasm.
The big news came last Tuesday, when Tilray announced the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration …read more
Source:: The Week – Science