Listen to this article now
President Biden’s statement that he wants to pardon thousands of former convicts convicted of marijuana possession — a move considered as a prelude to federal marijuana decriminalization — sent cannabis stocks jumping on Wall Street.
At one time early Friday morning, shares of Florida-based Trulieve Cannabis were trading up to 47% higher, while Verano Holdings’ stock price rose 35% immediately after the opening bell on Wall Street.
Cresco Labs, based in Chicago, had its stock price rise by more than 38% on Friday morning compared to the previous day’s close.
Tilray Brands, another publicly listed cannabis company, soared 39% at the opening of trading on Friday.
Canopy, whose stock rose 22% following Biden’s speech on Thursday, praised the president’s decision.
“Today signals action from the Administration that we have been waiting for – an admission that cannabis prohibition has failed and that far too many people have been negatively damaged as a consequence,” said David Culver, vice president of government relations at Canopy.
“In line with his campaign promises, President Biden has put in motion the initiatives required to repair the damages of the past and map a route for responsible, legal cannabis markets in the future.”
Biden said on Thursday that he will pardon thousands of Americans convicted of “simple possession” of marijuana under federal law, marking a significant step toward decriminalizing the substance and resolving charging tactics that critics say unfairly affect people of minority.
Biden’s action also applies to thousands of those convicted of the felony in the District of Columbia.
He also wants governors to provide comparable pardons to people convicted of state marijuana violations, which account for the vast bulk of marijuana possession cases.
In a statement, Biden said the action reflected his belief that “no one should be imprisoned just for smoking or having marijuana.”
“Too many lives have been upended as a result of our disastrous marijuana policy,” he continued.
“It’s past time to remedy these wrongs.”
No one is presently in federal jail for “simple possession” of the drug, according to the White House, but the pardon might assist hundreds overcome barriers to renting a house or obtaining work.
“Thousands of people with past Federal convictions for marijuana possession may be denied work, housing, or educational prospects,” he stated.
What do you think of Joe Biden’s marijuana’s decriminalizing? Please let us know in the comments.