US marijuana stocks up in early trading on midterm election results

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Shares of publicly traded U.S. marijuana companies mostly gained value Wednesday morning after the 2022 midterm elections, despite mixed results among the five state MJ ballot measures put to voters.

Maryland voters approved an adult-use market in that state, as did Missouri voters, but recreational legalization initiatives failed in Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Cannabis investors appeared to be encouraged by the election results, with U.S. marijuana stocks turning green in early trading.

The AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (MSOS) was up more than 3% on Wednesday morning before giving up some of those gains.

Shares of some individual U.S. multistate cannabis companies also gained ground Wednesday morning on the Canadian Securities Exchange, including:

  • Ascend Wellness Holdings (AAWH.U).
  • Ayr Wellness (AYR.A).
  • Columbia Care (CCHW).
  • Cresco Labs (CL).
  • Curaleaf Holdings (CURA).
  • Green Thumb Industries (GTII).
  • Jushi Holdings (JUSH).
  • TerrAscend (TER).

Despite the mixed ballot results, "even measures that failed saw support consistently over 40%," Cowen equity analyst Vivien Azer observed in a Wednesday research note.

Maryland and Missouri are relatively small and "comprise only ~3.8% of the 18+ U.S. population in total," Azer wrote, but "they are the largest of the five" states in question and add to the list of states with legal adult-use markets.

Bernstein equity analyst Nadine Sarwat noted that marijuana ballot initiatives have now been responsible for legalized adult-use cannabis in 14 of the 21 states that now permit it and serve as a way around Republican-led state governments uninterested in legalization.

"With time, could this trend force certain Republican senators, who are reluctant to support cannabis legalization at the federal level today, to change their view and facilitate a cannabis legalization bill passing congress?" Sarwat asked in a Wednesday research note.

Still, Sadat continued, the failure of marijuana ballot measures in Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota "shows that a deep political divide on cannabis remains."

Solomon Israel can be reached at