Marijuana stocks see boost after Harris debate comments

Marijuana stocks see boost after Harris debate comments
© Getty Images

Shares of cannabis producers soared on the stock market Thursday following the vice presidential debate, during which Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris announces 0M grant program to boost 'health literacy' Watch live: Biden and Harris deliver International Women's Day remarks Seoul sees hope in Biden's North Korea approach MORE (D-Calif.) announced the Biden administration would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.

"We will decriminalize marijuana and we will expunge the records of those who have been convicted of marijuana," the Democratic vice presidential nominee said.

Various stocks on the Nasdaq related to the marijuana industry shot up on Thursday, including cannabis stock tracker MJ ETF MJ.P, which rose 5.5 percent, and Tilray Inc TLRY.O, which increased 19.2 percent. Additionally, U.S.-listed shares of Canopy Growth Corp WEED.TO, Aphria Inc APHA.TO and Aurora Cannabis Inc. ACB.TO closed between 10 percent and 13 percent higher than normal, according to Reuters.

Multiple states have decriminalized marijuana, but it still remains illegal at the federal level.

A House vote on federally decriminalizing the substance originally scheduled to take place in September was delayed until after the elections. Moderate Democrats opposed the vote, saying that other issues, such as a COVID-19 stimulus package and a government funding bill, were more pressing.

Harris, a longtime supporter of the legalization of marijuana, introduced the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act alongside Rep. Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse slated to vote on Violence Against Women Act next week Hillary Clinton brings up 'Freedom Fries' to mock 'cancel culture' House sets vote for George Floyd police reform bill MORE (D-N.Y.) in 2019. The legislation would declassify marijuana as a federally controlled substance and authorize a 5 percent sales tax on marijuana and marijuana products, among other stipulations.

“Times have changed — marijuana should not be a crime,” said Harris while introducing the bill. “We need to start regulating marijuana and expunge marijuana convictions from the records of millions of Americans so they can get on with their lives. As marijuana becomes legal across the country, we must make sure everyone — especially communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs — has a real opportunity to participate in this growing industry.”