Shares of public cannabis companies started off 2014 with a bang, posting huge gains on the first day of trading since the successful launch of recreational marijuana stores in Colorado.
Many stocks rose at least 20% in intra-day trading on Thursday vs. their 2013 closing price. A handful surged more than 60%, and one touched 80%. That’s a stark contrast to the broader stock markets, which dipped into the red.
Only a handful of marijuana stocks declined.
The stock spikes reflect excitement over the future of the cannabis industry after retail cannabis shops successfully launched in Colorado on Wednesday. The first stores encountered huge demand, and the “cannabis chaos” that some predicted didn’t materialize.
That stoked optimism among investors about the continued spread of marijuana laws – and the businesses that benefit from them.
Cannabis stocks – all of which are listed on the over-the-counter markets – are subject to rapid price changes, as they are thinly traded. So they could relinquish some or all of these gains quickly.
Regardless, it’s a great way to start 2014 for the industry.
Last year, nearly half a dozen cannabis stocks ended the year down, though the sector as a whole experienced a late-December rally.
Here are some of Thursday’s biggest cannabis stock movers (note – prices reflect intra-day highs as of mid-afternoon Eastern Standard Time):