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Spicer Sends Cannabis Stocks Into Trump Slump

February 27, 2017
New York City, USA- October 23, 2015: The famous New York Stock Exchange building located on Wall Street in Lower Manhattan's Financial District in New York City, USA. An American flag flies outside the building's side entrance. Wall Street sign to right. Finance themes. No people.
The fallout from Sean Spicer’s cannabis comments last week continues. Cannabis stocks have plunged as much as 15 percent after the White House press secretary implied that the Department of Justice may enforce federal marijuana laws more strictly.


White House Plans ‘Greater Enforcement’ Against Legal Cannabis tracks cannabis stocks in the United States and Canada using an index of constituent stocks, much like the Dow Jones Industrial Average. As late as Tuesday, Feb. 21, the site’s U.S. cannabis stocks index hit 81.30, moderately down from last year’s Oct. 31 high of 110.64, when pre-legalization election fever was high. That index went south immediately following Spicer’s comments on Thursday, Feb. 23, and continued to fall on Friday. At the end of the week’s trading, the index stood at 72.80, a loss of more than 10 percent.

Past month: U.S. Cannabis Stock Index, tracked by

A number of cannabis companies took a significant hit, including United Cannabis Corp, CV Sciences Inc, Terra Tech Corp, and MassRoots Inc.

Some companies dipped only slightly, and other companies actually saw an increase. It’s worth noting that the companies that came out on top were almost exclusively Canadian. Aurora Cannabis Inc, Aphria Inc, Canopy Growth Corp, and CannaRoyalty Corp, all saw a bump in their stock shares. Overall, however,’s Canadian stock index fell a little more than 7 percent after Spicer’s comments.


MassRoots Note Default Raises Questions About Company’s Future

This isn’t the first time that comments from Trump and his administration have affected stock shares.

After his January criticism of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet, the company’s stock took a tumble, dropping by several percentage points. More recently, comments from the President had the opposite effect. When Trump complained about Nordstrom discontinuing his daughter’s fashion line, Nordstrom stock took a minor 0.5 percent loss, then quickly recovered and rose by by more than 7 percent. Similar Trump-driven dip-and-bounce effects have been seen all over the stock market since he took office.

Until last week, the fortunes of cannabis stocks had remained largely immune to Trump’s announcements, tweets, and policies. This past year saw eight weeks of consecutive gains, and marijuana stocks rose by a whopping 412 percent during 2016, buoyed by optimism about nine legalization measures on state ballots in November.

Past Two Years: U.S. Cannabis Sock Index, tracked by

Certain stocks have seen more gains than others. Insys Therapeutics, who readers may recognize as the makers of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, climbed 15 percent within a single week in February after the company announced progress on developing a CBD-based medicine. The announcement came at a time when the company was on unsteady legs and without leadership. Their CEO and several members of leadership are facing charges for a kickback scheme on their fentanyl product, Subsys.


Fentanyl Maker Insys Is Running CBD Clinical Trials

The British biopharmaceutical company, GW Pharmaceuticals, has also seen steady gains over the past three months. GW currently has a new CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, undergoing FDA Stage III trials. Each time the company announces a successful clinical trial involving Epidiolex, the company’s shares experience an uptick.

Lisa Rough's Bio Image

Lisa Rough

Lisa is a former associate editor at Leafly, where she specialized in legislative cannabis policy and industry topics.

View Lisa Rough's articles

  • Chas Hue

    Sessions is a small-minded man, a throwback to the Old South, Anita Bryant in a suit. His past and present provided more than enough red flags yet Trump put bro over those that would be harmed by giving Sessions the AG job.

    How can educated government officials not learn the lesson from history?

    Alcohol and gambling……vices that became legal because you can’t fight supply and demand. Both became major revenue makers for government and all that had to happen is public opinion made it OK. Nothing else changed, just public opinion got the nay-sayers in government to drop the “moral” thing.

    Sessions will loose in the end, as will Trump for selling out America to his band of deplorable buddies/ceo’s and putting favor over country.

    Sessions hated President Obama, I’ll let you decide why. He was vocal against the DOJ policy of allowing states to decide the cannabis issue for themselves. That decision was prudent because IT WORKED and it was overdue. I would have preferred he found a way to strike cannabis from the schedule altogether but that didn’t happen, yet. So what is the result of this little test in smaller government? Increased revenue to the states and fed, decreased crime from cartels and the like, law enforcement freed up to focus on serious crime issues, JOBS in a new industry and prison cells reserved for violent felons instead of some guy with an ounce of weed and a bag of Doritos.

    Someone needs to reel in Sessions before this gets ugly unfortunately Trump is more concerned with adolescent tweeting and keeping inane campaign promises than keeping America’s free from the short sighted, biased agenda of Sessions.

  • Ryan Myers

    Not surprised that this administration wants to spend billions on killing and destruction, only to cash in on re-construction. The sickness is that these grown fucking people are SCARED OF A PLANT. FUCKING SICK OF THESE ELECTED DEATH SCAUDes THAt THINK FOR US. YEAH LETS GO KILL destroy rebuild, cash in . Real tough! While you can’t even handle a natural plant, that helps lives instead of all the killing, I have M.S. so I know. By the way this plant saves the lives of the soilders you send to kill for you. You are officially a PUSSIE! GREG ABBOTT IS THE BIGGEST FAKEASS PUSSIE TEXAS HAS EVER HAD. CRIPPLE IN PAIN, YET WILL NOT HELP OTHERS THAT ARE THE SAME OR WORSE. KARMS IS GANNA CATCH UP TO YOU EVEN MORE. You have set yourself up for desastrious consequences. Your stigma and total disregard for other sicknesses and diseases is YOUR ACTUALL SICKNESS.

  • originalone

    Recalling back in the last century, the meme, “the government hates competition”, seems on the agenda at the moment. After all, think of the drought that would ensue if the U.S. legalizes Marijuana as far as the police are concerned, a source of revenue income. And, as we see, the Pharmo’s are into trying to get their slice of the pie. Exciting times we face today.

    • Kelli Kell

      So true and right you are!Why would a few powerful men allow all to flourish?? Loose their power and control, are you kidding me?? Yes they will sacrifice revenue that would better the community.Why?? The people in power and the children of the people in power already have the best of educational systems. Sacrifice the betterment of your people in order to keep the power you lust for.Ego, greed,this is what we have running our nation.
      If a President can come into office and appoint all his wealthy henchmen to follow his lead.Together they can affect the stock market,laws,and freedom of the common people.Stocks on cannabis are down??? Well no sh*t Sherlock!!! We have a president trying to go Cannabis lynching on good people who are just trying to make life a little better physically and mentally.
      No,let the gov push the LEGAL hillbilly heroine on the community not a plant that we can grow in our back yards.
      Moral of the way it really is……… Money is nothing without power.Those who already have money and the luxuries that come with it Absolutely will sacrifice a little money to keep the power.
      There will be no power to the people……Not here……Not really
      Look closer!!

  • cinderabi

    I just read that Sessions is taking a “hands-off” approach to the situation and honoring a state’s right to govern its cannabis as will, provided common sense prevails in lawmaking and revenue handling. Trump is a lot of crazy hazy things, but he is NOT stupid when it comes to making money, and this “budding” industry is on its way to creating a multi-billion dollar revenue pot in this country that will be shared by the states that get it. The only thing prohibition accomplishes is making folks seek out other avenues to procure that which is forbidden to them by law. Legalize the product and give it accessibility and they will come, they will flock, they will feed at your door. And the money, honey will generate in your prosperous state coffers. Now why would any self-aggrandizing, money-hungry politician want to stomp on the kind of opportunity that could possibly make his country to “great again”?

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  • Charles

    It’s all about pharmaceutical money. Nothing else matters to these people. Looks like the round up of the disabled might happen after all. The gov is bringing in the opium.They don’t care that hundreds die every day from opioid overdose. Guess I’ll go take my morphine,methadone chase it down with a bottle of booze and choke on a couple packs of cancer sticks.WTF.