Cannabis Stocks Rise As SAFE Banking Measure May Get Senate Hearing

Cannabis stocks moved up sharply on Thursday on remarks by a U.S. senator about a potential committee hearing on the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act.

Sherrod Brown, the Ohio Democrat who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, told NBC News the panel would hold a hearing on the SAFE Banking Act as early as May 11 as part of an effort to “move quickly” toward a vote on the measure, which would open up the financial system to legal U.S. cannabis companies.

While the hearing is far from a guarantee that the measure will reach the full Senate, cannabis stocks moved up sharply even as the broader market fell deeply into the red. 

The AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis exchange-traded fund MSOS, +1.46%rallied by 8.6%, while holding on to a loss of 17% for the year. 

Curaleaf Holdings Inc. CURLF, +5.88% jumped 7%, Green Thumb Industries Inc. GTBIF, -0.40% rose 7.3% and Trulieve Cannabis Corp. TCNNF, -2.09% rose by 8%. 

Boris Alex Jordan, executive chair of Curaleaf, said Tuesday that the U.S. Cannabis Council was preparing to announce a super PAC to raise money to lobby for U.S. cannabis legislation.

“We think that [the] super PAC will raise quite substantial amounts of money because it’ll be able to target customers and individuals, and we think that that will be very, very powerful given the massive popularity of legalization of cannabis,” Jordan said. 

Jordan said he sees momentum for getting something done in Washington but added, “We are out of the business of predicting anything in Washington.”

The SAFE Banking measure aims to make financial transactions and other services such as capital raising more accessible to legal cannabis companies. No U.S.-based, plant-touching cannabis company is allowed to trade on the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq at the current time, because cannabis remains classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance under U.S. law.

Kernel Reporter

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