Business

Session resignation prompts second cannabis-stock surge of the day

Cannabis stocks, already bolstered by wins in the midterm elections, got an added boost when anti-pot Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his resignation Wednesday afternoon.

Exchange-traded funds that track marijuana stocks, including the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF in Toronto and the U.S.-listed ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF, jumped to fresh highs on the news, gaining 7 percent and 6.2 percent respectively.

Tilray Inc. saw the biggest surge, climbing as much as 25 percent in its biggest gain since Sept. 19, when the stock almost doubled before giving back most of the gains in a wild ride for investors. Other cannabis-related stocks in both the U.S. and Canada also gained.

Sessions was a major foe of marijuana legalization, moving last January to rescind an Obama-era policy that allowed states to make their own decisions on cannabis without interference from the federal government. That announcement sent pot shares plunging three days after California became the largest jurisdiction to legalize recreational use.

Cannabis stocks were broadly higher Wednesday after Michigan voted to legalize recreational marijuana and Missouri approved medical pot. The Democrats’ House of Representatives win was also thought to be a positive catalyst for stocks, making legal reform more likely.