Marijuana-related stocks plummeted, cannabis boosters worried about the industry's future, and defiant growers and sellers vowed to keep operating after Attorney General Jeff Sessions signaled a tougher approach Thursday to federal pot enforcement. The plunging stock prices reversed a weekslong rally driven by optimism for legal recreational sales that started Monday in California. Several marijuana stocks saw double-digit losses in the hours after Sessions' announcement, including the largest pot-producing company that is publicly traded. Canopy Growth, a Canada-based company with the ticker symbol WEED, lost $3.58 a share, or 10%, to close at $32.32 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the AP reports.
Shares of garden-supply company Scotts Miracle-Gro also skidded Thursday, following a steady rise last year after it added fertilizer, lights, and other products to serve marijuana growers. Sessions' "decision to rescind the Cole memoranda puts the marijuana industry and marijuana legalization efforts in a precarious position," says lawyer Aaron Herzberg, founder of the cannabis investment company CalCann Holding, referring to an Obama-era memo that limited crackdowns on pot in states where it's legal. But Steve DeAngelo, owner of California's largest marijuana retailer, says it will be "business as usual" at his Harborside dispensary in Oakland. "I think the main impact of this is really going to be on investors, more than anything else," he says.