- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 8, 2018

Marijuana stocks surged Wednesday after longtime cannabis opponent Attorney General Jeff Sessions was ousted from the Department of Justice.

Mr. Sessions, long outspoken against marijuana use, earlier this year rescinded a 2013 Obama-era memo directing federal prosecutors not to enforce the federal cannabis ban in states that had legalized it.

MJ, an exchange-traded fund that tracks the performance of legal marijuana, companies shot up 7.1 percent Wednesday, before closing at nearly $37.00 per share.

Meanwhile, shares of Tilray, a Canadian cannabis grower, jumped 34 percent, reaching $139.60 per share.

But some marijuana stock prices tumbled in mid-afternoon trading Thursday, perhaps a sign investors were buoyed more by Mr. Sessions’ firing than a belief the Justice Department will change its marijuana policy.

MJ’s price dipped to $35.90 per share, which is still higher than the $31.90 per share it commanded last week.

Tilray saw an even bigger drop. It’s stock fell to $122.12 per share in midday trading. That represents a big gain of the nearly $100 per share it traded for last week.

The departure of Mr. Sessions may not have been the only factor boosting weed stocks. Michigan on Tuesday became the 10th state to legalize recreational pot with the passage of Proposal One. And Democrats, traditionally more marijuana-friendly, took control of the House of Representatives.

Despite the good news in Michigan for pot enthusiast, the state’s two U.S. attorneys, Matthew Schneider and Andrew Birge, said Thursday they will continue to prosecute marijuana crimes — although they emphasized low-level offenders are safe unless there are aggravating circumstances.

“Because we have taken oaths to protect and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States, we will not unilaterally immunize anyone from prosecution for violating federal law simply because of the passage of Proposal One,” they said in a joint statement.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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