Canadian-list marijuana stocks jumped on Monday amid reports that Ottawa is rushing to announce legislation for the recreational use of the drug before April 20.
Shares of Canopy Growth Corp. (WEED-T), Canada's largest producer, and OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (OGI-X) were each up eight per cent in early trading. Shares of Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. (EMH-X) were up six per cent and Aphria Inc. (APH-T) shares rose one per cent, to name a few of the companies listed in Toronto.
"The governing Liberals used last year's 4/20 celebrations – festivals held annually across the country in which marijuana enthusiasts publicly light up – to announce that they would table their legislation this spring. The government is now hoping to table the long-awaited bill in less than a month, ahead of that same date this year," reported the Globe and Mail's Daniel Leblanc, citing sources.
The legislation was expected this spring, but analysts say a more specific timeline provides clarity and confidence for investors in the sector. There was concern a few weeks ago that the legislation might be delayed, which caused some pot stocks to sell off.
The CBC also reported that Ottawa plans to have legislation fully in place by July 1, 2018.
The value of Canada's pot stocks have soared amid investor optimism that recreational sales, which Canaccord Genunity Group Inc. said in November could reach $6-billion in sales annually by 2021, may start as early as 2018. Canopy Growth has seen its share price rise more than 300 percent in the past 12 months, while Aurora has climbed more than 400 per cent.
In December, the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation issued a report that recommends the Canadian government regulate the production of marijuana while the provinces control distribution and retail sales.
With a file from Bloomberg News