Marijuana ETF (MJ) Saw Pre-Election Inflows

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November 8, 2018 1:32pm NYSE:MJ

From Todd Shriber: Marijuana stocks and the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ 4.21% rallied Wednesdayfollowing encouraging results on cannabis legalization from Tuesday’s midterm elections and after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his resignation.

Data suggest traders nibbled at MJ ahead of the elections, wagering that ballot initiatives in states, including Michigan, would favor increased legalization of cannabis.

What Happened

Fifty-six percent of Michigan voters approved Proposal 1, which fully legalizes marijuana there, making Michigan the tenth state to approve marijuana for recreational use.

From Oct. 29 through Nov. 6, traders added $21.27 million to MJ. The ETF has seen fourth-quarter inflows of $154.09 million, a significant slice of the fund’s $712.26 million in assets under management.

Pot stocks like Aurora Cannabis ACB 4.1%Canopy Growth CGC 4.82% and Tilray TLRY 11.17%, among other, also made huge gains.

Why It’s Important

Bolstering MJ’s fortunes Wednesday were votes of Missouri and Utah, which approved marijuana for medicinal use. Thirty-three states have now done so. Other states helped MJ’s cause as well. Six Ohio cities considered marijuana decriminalization measures with five voting to approve those measures. A majority of the 16 Wisconsin counties considering marijuana ballot initiatives voted to legalize it for medicinal or adult recreational use.

MJ tracks the Prime Alternative Harvest Index. The fund is the only U.S.-listed marijuana ETF. MJ gained more than 7 percent Wednesday on volume that was more than double the daily average.

There was also some positive news for MJ outside the U.S. on Tuesday when Mexico revealed plans to create a medical marijuana industry and permit recreational use.

“Senator Olga Sanchez, Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s choice for interior minister, told Reuters the bill would be presented this week in Congress,” according to Reuters.

What’s Next

The resignation of Sessions is a major boon for MJ and marijuana. Session previously said he would like to scrap the policy of allowing states to chart their own marijuana policies.

While marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, some market observers speculate President Trump’s stance on legalization is surprisingly progressive and that the president could consider increased legalization action after the midterm elections.

The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ) was trading at $35.20 per share on Thursday afternoon, down $1.50 (-4.09%). Year-to-date, MJ has gained 8.23%, versus a 5.60% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

MJ currently has an ETF Daily News SMART Grade of C (Neutral), and is ranked #59 of 75 ETFs in the Global Equities ETFs category.

This article is brought to you courtesy of Benzinga.

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