Cannabis stocks surge after Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York is ‘very close’ on legalization

marijuana cannabis
Employees tend to medical cannabis plants at Pharmocann, an Israeli medical cannabis company in northern Israel.

  • Cannabis stocks leaped higher on Monday after Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York is “very close” on legalization.
  • The comments came at a Monday afternoon news conference, in which Cuomo added that “we have to get it done this year.”
  • Shares of several marijuana sector ETFs surged as much as 4% in Monday trades.
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Cannabis stocks moved higher on Monday after Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York is “very close” on legalizing the drug for recreational use.

Shares of Tilray and Aphria traded up as much as 14% and 12%, respectively, while marijuana ETFs like the ETFMG Alternative Harvest and AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETFs were up as much as 4%.

“I think this [cannabis legalization] should’ve been passed years ago,” Cuomo said in an afternoon news conference, before adding “we have to get it done.”

“I think too many people have been imprisoned, incarcerated, and punished. Too many of those people are Black, Latino, and poor. It’s exaggerated the injustice of the justice system,” Cuomo added.

Like many other states that have considered the benefits of marijuana legalization, Cuomo said the measure could help raise revenue for the state’s deficit, which surged amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

But one analyst from BTIG thinks Cuomo is pushing hard for marijuana legalization to distract from recent sexual harassment allegations made against him. BTIG thinks a vote on the measure could come before the April 1 due date for the state’s budget.

If New York does legalize cannabis, it would likely represent a seminal moment in the cannabis reform and investment movement, as the fourth most populous state would grant its residents permission to consume the drug legally.