Marijuana stocks were on a tear after Jeff Sessions announced he was resigning at the request of Donald Trump. It was also a day after the U.S. midterm elections were the Democrats won back the house and several states passed marijuana legislation.
One stock that was really jumping was Canadian pharmaceutical and cannabis company Tilray, which closed up 30% after Sessions’ resignation.
“You’re happy if you’re long the cannabis stocks. He was the biggest roadblock to broadening that out to a national conversation,” said Art Hogan, B. Riley FBR chief market strategist.
President Trump tweeted, “…We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.”
In another tweet he wrote, “We are pleased to announce that Matthew G. Whitaker, Chief of Staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice, will become our new Acting Attorney General of the United States. He will serve our Country well….”
The fact that the Democrats also won back the house may have contributed to the marijuana optimism on Wall Street as there may be more a chance of marijuana laws changing on a federal level now.
“Since the day I was honored to be sworn in as Attorney General of the United States, I came to work at the Department of Justice every day determined to do my duty and serve my country,” Sessions said in his resignation letter.
“If we are going to have a national discussion about Senators meeting with ambassadors it is appropriate for all Senators to disclose who they met with so the public, and apparently the media, understand that all Senator Sessions did was his job,” Whitaker said in the statement.
A new Attorney General “could cut either way. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo and has opposed legalization. Yet the Justice Department under his leadership has not done anything to go after cannabis in states that have legalized,” Cowen analyst Vivien Azer wrote.
“The President can be very unconventional in his selections. Obvious choices like Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn would be negative for cannabis as the senator is a cannabis opponent,” Azer also said. “Yet the President could opt for an unconventional pick. Either way, the best case scenario is a continuation of a lack a Justice Department action.”