Cannabis company Canopy applauds Biden marijuana pardons, stock surges

Canopy Growth operations in Smiths Falls, Ontario.

Tom Frank | CNBC

Canopy growth applauded President Joe Biden’s announcement Thursday that he will pardon thousands of people convicted of marijuana possession.

“Today represents action from the Administration that we’ve been waiting for: an acknowledgment that cannabis prohibition has failed and that too many lives have been affected as a result,” said David Culver, Canopy’s vice president of government relations, in a communicated

Shares of the Canada-based cannabis company, the world’s largest, jumped 22% after the news, closing at $3.75. Stocks of cannabis companies Brands Tilray gained more than 30%. CNBC could not reach Tilray for comment.

“President Biden, consistent with his campaign commitments, has put in place the necessary actions to heal the harms of the past and chart a course for responsible and legal cannabis markets in the future,” Culver said.

The move could be a step toward a broad loosening of the drug’s federal classification. According to the White House, more than 6,500 people with previous convictions for simple possession of marijuana were affected by the pardons. That includes thousands more through pardons under DC law.

“There are thousands of people with prior federal marijuana possession convictions who may be denied employment, housing or educational opportunities as a result. My action will help alleviate the collateral consequences of these convictions “, Biden said in a statement announcing. the pardons

Biden urged governors to issue similar pardons for cases involving state criminal possession of marijuana.

In an earnings report Thursday morning, Constellation Brandswhich owns 36% of Canopy’s outstanding shares, said it took a $1 billion write-down related to its stake in the cannabis company.

Canopy shares have fallen more than 70% in the past 12 months amid slowing sales in the cannabis industry. The stock is more than 90% off its all-time high of $56.89.

– CNBC’s Christina Wilkie contributed to this report.

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